The British summer isn't the most reliable. Today it's raining, tomorrow we're all in shorts. When the sun does grace our skies then be sure to take advantage by cracking out the barbecue. You can barbecue almost any vegetable, and when you've already got the barbecue all fired up for your fillet steaks or fish, you might as well pile on some peppers and mushrooms to make a whole meal without dirtying a single dish.
Throw corn right on the grill in its husk -- 15 to 20 minutes later you'll have perfectly browned kernels. Just occasionally turn your cobs while cooking them over direct heat. If some kernels are charred but most are lightly browned, you've done it right.
Cut your courgettes lengthwise into half-inch pieces. Brush with oil, cook over direct heat turning occasionally and voila -- tender, browned courgettes. Courgettes are also great cut into disks and skewered onto kebobs.
Simply trim the bottoms and toss with oil before throwing asparagus on the barbecue. Cook the stalks over direct heat for 6 to 12 minutes depending on their thickness. You'll want to be able to pierce the bottom with a knife tip.
Small mushrooms should be skewered, but larger mushrooms, like portobello, can be set right on the grill (just don't forget to brush them with oil). Cook them over direct heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are browned and tender.
Peppers make colorful kebobs, and they're also great grilled alone. Cut them in half, remove the seeds and insides, and cook them over direct heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Look for dark brown, blistered skin.
You can peel your onions and cut them into wedges, or you can halve them, unpeeled, right through the root. Either way, brush them with oil and cook them over direct heat, turning only once. They'll be done after about 15 minutes, when they're nicely browned.
Buy tomatoes that aren't quite ripe yet. That way, when you turn them on the barbecue, they won't fall apart. You can slice your tomatoes, halve them or put them on a skewer.
Before putting your potatoes on the grill you'll need to parboil them in salted water. Once they're tender, cut them up, brush them with oil and toss them on the heat. You can cook potatoes over direct heat (15 to 20 minutes) or over indirect heat (turning occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes).
If you've got a whole artichoke, remove the choke and halve it before parboiling in salt water. Baby artichokes and artichoke hearts can be skewered. Brush with oil and cook over direct heat for about 10 minutes.
Butternut squash, acorn squash and pumpkins do well over indirect heat. After pealing and seeding the squash, slice it or dice it and put it over indirect heat, turning occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes. When the squash is almost done, you can move it over the direct heat to give it a nice brown finish.
Slice or dice your aubergine before brushing it with oil and cooking over direct heat. Peeling the skin is up to you. Depending on how thick your slices or cubes are, it could take your aubergine anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to reach the right tenderness.