We’ve all had moments sitting around the dinner table when the kids are being uncooperative. “I don’t like it,” they whine without a single morsel having even passed their lips. It’s one of the bug bears that, quite frankly, we can do without when we are on our big holiday!
It’s moments like these that the barbecue becomes a superhero, offering the perfect excuse to enjoy the outdoors with the promise of a relaxed, fun meal. The kids can play and run about – after all there is nobody to upset – and you can chat while the food is grilling and enjoy a drink in the sunshine.
Have we painted the perfect picture? All you need now are some recipes that everyone can enjoy together.
On that note, we’re sharing some of our favourite barbecue recipes for even the fussiest of eaters. Stoke the coals (or turn the gas on – whichever applies), set the table and pour yourself a drink, this is a meal that everyone is going to enjoy.
Make your own mini burgers
Minced meat is available everywhere and this is a recipe that the kids can help prepare. Simply combine the minced meat with grated onion, mixed herbs, egg yolk and breadcrumbs (take out the herbs for those who don’t like any ‘green bits’) and then roll balls of the mixture between your hands. Once you have a firm ball of mixture, place it on a tray and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
Pop them on a hot grill and turn occasionally to make sure they are cooked evenly. Meanwhile, lay out some cut rolls and some tasty fillings to choose from – cheese slices, chopped lettuce, tomatoes and maybe some onion rings and gherkins for the older eaters.
Let the kids dive in and get creative with their burgers.
Top tip – don’t forget the tomato sauce!
Another barbecue staple is chicken drumsticks. You can buy them in supermarkets and butchers no matter where you’re holidaying and they’re perfect for small people who struggle to sit at a table for too long.
Fussy eaters will be happy to eat them plain, or you can make them more exciting by preparing a marinade using tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder and a pinch of paprika or chilli powder. Leave them to marinade in the fridge overnight and then when you’re ready to fire up the barbecue place them on the grill, turning occasionally to prevent burning.
They’re the perfect on-the-go food and seeing as you’re outside, there won’t be any sticky handprints to clean up afterwards!
Corn on the cob
If there’s one thing children do like about eating it’s getting messy, and corn on the cob definitely ticks that box. If your young eaters turn their noses up at vegetables, corn on the cob may change that. It’s yellow (green is normally the colour that sets off the wails of disapproval), it’s sweet and it’s a messy one to eat. Watch them giggle as the melted butter runs down their chins.
Easy to prepare, remove the fresh corn cobs from their husks, rub with butter and season well, before wrapping them in aluminium foil. Feel free to get creative by adding herbs, flavouring, or anything else your kids might enjoy.
The cobs will need cooking for about 20 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes or so. Once they’re cooked you can cut them into bite-sized pieces and add more butter or seasoning.
The perfect dessert to finish off your fun outdoor meal is fruit kebabs. What child turns down a brightly coloured, sweet-tasting stick of fruit? There’s more chance of them asking for seconds!
They can be eaten with or without grilling, depending on their preference. Simply choose some fruits – strawberries, grapes, apple, kiwi, peach and banana tend to go down well. Push bitesize chunks onto a wooden stick and, ta-dah! You have a fruit kebab.
If you want to grill them, brush the skewers with a mixture of melted butter, cinnamon and sugar, and then pop them on the barbecue until they’re heated all the way through. Yum!
We have some fabulous villas great for barbecues in our collection, but if you can’t wait until your holiday then why not try our recipes at home first?
Villa L'Oliveta del Generale
L’Olivetta del Generale is an elegant villa which overlooks olive groves, vineyards and orchards of nearby village Pieve di Compito in Tuscany. It has a very large swimming pool and a wonderful shaded barbecue dining terrace, ideal for alfresco dining.