The sun is out and it is wont that thoughts naturally revolve around cooking and eating alfresco.
This July though, avoid falling prey to throwing the same humdrum bangers on the barbecue. Sure, nothing beats succulent cuts of meat when it comes to grilling, but you know – meh.
Move over, meat.
Done that for ages. Time to try something different. Like vegetables. Or fruit.
Unbeknownst to many, fruits and veggies can be a great option for cooking out. They don’t take ages to cook and the hint of smoke from the grill gives them a certain exotic flavor. And they come with the added bonus of not having to worry about whether they are under- or overcooked in the middle as is common with steak or burgers. Just one look at their slightly charred flesh and you’ll know…
Now, one such fruit that makes for a wonderful barbecue is papaya. I know, we guys swear by papaya through and through, but seriously people, this fruit is underappreciated. Usually, you’ll find it getting blended up into smoothies or diced into fruit salads. But there is another uncommon way you can unleash the papaya’s full potential. It’s called grilling, try it some time.
Check out some of these unique papaya BBQ recipes that are not only delicious, but also help us cut down on our meat consumption while providing a simple way to go green!
First up on our list of grilled papaya ideas is a simple recipe that involves four basic ingredients: 1 large papaya (or two medium-sized); 2 limes; 2 dessert spoons of full fat Greek yoghurt; and 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar.
Take your papaya and cut it in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Next, cut one of the limes in half and squeeze each half over each half of the papaya, then pepper the fruit with vanilla sugar.
Set on the grill until they start bubbling.
Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt on both halves before serving, and finish it off by drizzling one half of the remaining lime over the papaya for an extra special treat!
This simple barbecued papaya recipe works great as a dessert but can also go well with grilled chicken or sea fare.
You will need two medium papayas cut in half and seeded; 1/3 cup honey; and 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger. If you have any ground ginger, a teaspoon will do the job.
First, mix the honey and ginger. Next, place the papayas on the grill with the cut sides facing down and leave for 4 minutes. Flip the papayas over (this time cut side up), brush the honey mixture over the papaya fruit and let grill for another 4 minutes. That’s it.
Another take on this delicious recipe is to cut the fruit into wedges (but large enough to avoid slipping through the barbecue grates). Then repeat these steps, albeit this time, apply the honey mixture all over them before grilling. Then grill until grill marks appear, all nicely browned.
This yummy recipe is best served as a dessert.
To prepare, you’ll need 2 sizeable papayas sliced into ½-inch-thick rings (peeled and seeded, of course); ¼ cup honey; 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; and a cup of vanilla cream.
Mix the honey, ginger and lemon juice in a small bowl, then glaze it over both sides of your papaya rings. Place rings on grill (or add to grill pan heated to medium-high) and let sit for a minute (30 seconds for the pan) on each side.
Place the rings on a plate and spoon the remaining glaze over them, before finally topping them with vanilla ice cream.
The result will leave an oh-my-God-I-never-knew-you-could-do-this-with-papaya impression on your company!
If you are quite the ardent BBQ fan who just can’t lay off the meat, there is a way you can still include papaya on your repertoire this summer: as a barbecue source.
It’s amazingly simple to prepare. You will need 1 ripe papaya (diced); a small sweet onion (preferably Vidalia), finely chopped; a cup of brown sugar; a cup of ketchup; 1½ cups apple cider vinegar; ¼ cup hot sauce and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Mix all the ingredients and put in a large saucepan. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes on medium heat, stirring on occasion. Remove and allow to cool, then blend it and put in the fridge.
This papaya BBQ sauce is incredible both as a marinade or putting on top of your favorite foods.
A barbecue is not a barbecue without a cooler full of icy drinks nearby, right?
But instead stacking said cooler with soda or wine spritzers, why not go creative and include some revitalizing agua frescas in the mix? After all, these Latin American treats make for wonderful bevs that all ages will love!
To prepare, you will need 1 medium-sized ripe papaya; 1 lime (juiced); cold water (as desired); ¼ cup honey to taste; and ice and rosemary sprigs for serving.
Peel, seed and cut the papaya into chunks. Puree in a blender, adding a little water if necessary. Pour in a pitcher then add the lime juice which gives it a touch of tartness, followed by the honey and stir.
Next, add cold water until you achieve a pourable consistency, then pop it in the fridge until ready to serve. Pour into a tall glass with ice and rosemary sprigs which add a sophisticated herbal lift to it. And probably a wedge of lime for the presentation.
If you prefer, you can also bring a mango into the picture, especially if you find the complex sweetness of papaya overpowering – at the before-blending-papaya juncture. Make sure it is well ripen.
The result will blow you away. This agua fresca is an incredibly healthy way to hydrate on those long summer nights.