BBQ Beef & Fresh Caponata Salad

Confession No 24: I can’t work the barbeque

I confess, I’m a terrible barbequer. I don’t even know how to turn it on! Which is no excuse, I know but if it’s any consolation I do feel suitably ashamed…. In my defence (don’t get excited, it’s not a very good defence), my Dad did all the barbequing when I was growing up. It was “man’s work”. Mum and I made salads, desserts and nibblies. We didn’t do meat. As I said, it was “man’s work”.

Fast forward to 2012 and I still can’t barbeque. I can marinate a steak better than Jamie Oliver, skewer chicken like Curtis Stone and slice lamb almost as well as George Calombaris, but I still can’t barbeque. Nigella can, I’ve seen her do it. Like I said, suitably ashamed….

Rather than live with my shame any more, I took action and asked The Barbequer (aka, The Husband) to guide me through it. It’s actually quite involved. All this time I’ve been thinking that he was swanning around beer in hand thinking about whatever men think about (I know, but I’m not going to say it in case he reads this…..).

There’s different cooking surfaces, gas levels, heat intensity locations, hood vs no hood. I found a whole new respect for The Barbequer (as if that was possible). Never again will I scoff at his barbequing prowess – it’s the stuff of legends. As for my skills, I’m still a novice’s novice but I did manage to cook a steak. Under strict supervision.

And in the aftermath of my lesson, I don’t think I’ll ever be a true barbequer. I don’t have enough chest hair for one (which is a huge relief for everyone), but I love making salads, desserts and nibblies too much. Some things just never change.

But while the weather is still barbeque-worthy, fire it up (or get someone else to) and slap on a steak. While you’re at it, make this gorgeous caponata salad to go with it. It’s fresh and crunchy, sour and sweet and just perfect with beef, lamb or even pork.

Do you barbeque or do you relinquish responsibility to a meat searing scholar?

BBQ Beef & Caponata Salad


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