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Barbecue showstoppers for the sunny bank holiday weekend

With this bank holiday weekend set to be a scorcher, this week’s dishes are made for enjoying in the great outdoors.

For anyone firing up the BBQ this weekend, my barbecue lamb skewers with a basil pesto dressing will be a showstopper, paired with a tasty salad of endive, pear and blue cheese which can be served as a starter or a side to accompany the lamb kebabs. Enjoy.


Lamb skewers with basil pesto (Serves four)

For the kebabs:

700g lamb neck fillet

1 red pepper, quartered

1 yellow pepper, quartered

1 red onion, quartered

2 courgettes

For the marinade:

1 tbsp honey

75ml sherry vinegar

75ml olive oil

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

¼ tsp cumin

25g mint chopped

2 garlic cloves, grated

Salt and pepper

For pesto:

Handful of basil

1 clove garlic

Olive oil

50g pine nuts

50g Parmesan



Soak the wooden skewers for up to 30 minutes in lukewarm water. Cut the lamb neck fillet into 2 inch cubes. Slice the courgettes evenly on the round.

Combine all the marinade ingredients and season to taste. Place the lamb into the mix and coat lightly.

Skewer the lamb, packing it tightly against a slice of pepper, then onion, then courgette until you reach the top. Repeat until all the lamb is skewered.

Cook for 4 minutes on the side of the barbecue and then turn. Remove from the heat and let rest for a couple of minutes.

For the pesto, blend the basil leaves with sea salt, garlic, olive oil, parmesan and pine nuts.

Endive, Blue Cheese, Beetroot and Pear Salad (Serves four)

For the salad:

1 large beetroot

Olive oil

50ml red wine vinegar

50g Demerara sugar

½ red onion, fine sliced

100ml white wine vinegar

100g caster sugar

1 pear, firm, peeled, cored and halved

16 walnuts, crushed

2 endives

100g mature blue cheese, crumbed

For the dressing:

55ml sherry vinegar

1 tsp mustard powder

1 pinch salt

1 clove garlic, finely diced

20g black pepper

25g caster sugar

100ml vegetable oil

100ml olive oil



Preheat the oven to 180C. Drizzle the beetroot in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and wrap well in tin foil.

Place beetroot in the oven and cook for 90 minutes until soft. Once cooked, peel the beetroot and dice into 1cm cubes.

Place the walnuts in the oven, turn it down and warm through for 5 minutes.

Place the red wine and Demerara sugar into a pan and boil until the sugar has dissolved and has the consistency of jam.

Remove from the heat, add the red onion and set aside. In a separate pot, boil the white wine vinegar and caster sugar.

Once dissolved leave to cool. Place the pear into the liquor and leave until ready to serve.

Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Place the endive on the plate and dress with the beetroot, pear, red onion and the crumbled blue cheese, drizzle over the dressing and garnish with walnuts.

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