For the flexitarians among us, skewers are a natural vehicle for delivering a wide variety of delicious starters, mains, and desserts. There’s also the added bonus of freedom from strenuous dish duty when you lean into simple protein, vegetable, and fruit ingredients—meaning more precious summer minutes to enjoy. Plus, skewer-based dishes are a fast and easy way for everyone around the table to have control over their meal and adjust it to their diet and food preferences. Perfect for grilling, perfect for summer.
To rev up everyone’s appetite with a crowd-pleasing flavour pairing, slide red or green grapes and cubes of medium or sharp cheddar onto toothpicks, which you can toss in the compost afterwards. Looking to wow the table with a less traditional bite? Alternate black raisins with a soft cheese, season with cinnamon, star anis, and paprika—then top with walnut pieces.
Let’s not forget the time-honoured appetizer skewer trio of cherry tomato, bocconcini, and basil, which both looks and tastes amazing as a starter centrepiece. Pour dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and garlic over your starter-size skewers, then salt and pepper to taste. Molto bene, right!?
If you love the unique flavours of feta, you can create your own appetizer kababs with the mouth-watering goat cheese, too—just add colourful peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. After salting and peppering to your satisfaction, add dollops of tzatziki sauce here and there for extra summer flavour. Talk about table appeal!
Choose your own (main) adventure
Turn any free surface of yours into a brochette bar! Simply lay out bowls of each meal-making ingredient, e.g., marinated veggies (red onion, peppers, zucchini, etc.), chicken, beef, shrimp, fish, tofu, and/or tempeh. Oh, and don’t forget haloumi cheeses slices! They stay solid on the BBQ and come out the other side with appetizing grill marks.
Seek out marinade flavours that will equally enhance vegetables, meats, fish, and seafood. Think combos like balsamic and brown sugar; garlic, lemon, and oregano; ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and lime; as well as good old-fashioned salt and pepper (or spice!).
Dry marinades are also a great go-to, for instance a blend of ground pepper and coriander, salt, smoked paprika, and onion or garlic powder. Trust us: the flavour will go deep!
Quick and delish!
Short on time? Running errands got you in a rush? Rachelle-Béry has your back with ready-to-cook salmon and shrimp skewers. They come marinated, so all you need to do is toss them on the grill, and in a few sips of organic Bù rosé, they’ll be ready. A side well worth considering: crisp broccoli salad with rice and honey miso dressing, which unlike veggie skewers, requires 0 minutes of cook time.
Some words of warning…
Do not marinate different proteins together, and while you’re at it, don’t cook them on the same brochette either, because each one may require a different temperature and cook time. For example, a salmon kabob may only need a few minutes at high heat, while chicken cubes likely require 10-15 minutes at medium-high heat to reach an internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C). Also: keep your vegetarians happy and be sure to cook your veggie skewers before any meaty counterparts.
… and some pro tips:
- Soak wood and bamboo brochettes for 30 minutes before grilling so they don’t burn.
- Opt for firmer fish like salmon and tuna, which are better for cubing and won’t fall between the grates of your BBQ.
- Baste meat generously while grilling. If you use your leftover marinade to do it, close the lid of your grill and cook 10 minutes for food safety purposes. If you want to be extra cautious, keep some marinade on the side before you add meat and use it for safe basting when the time comes.
- Wait until juices rise to the surface of meat before turning your skewer on the BBQ—the less you turn, the juicier the kabob!
Summer is a time of fruity abondance, so there’s no better time to add seasonal fruit to the menu. Play with shape and colour in your presentation. A fun and kid-wowing serving option: stick your fruit mini-skewers to the skin side of an emptied watermelon. Then, offer up a sauce or two for dipping. Maple, vanilla, and strawberry are all good sugar-enhancing options—but a semi-sweet chocolate, 35% cream, milk, and butter sauce will probably be the crowd favourite!