Alternative barbecuing with cheese

There’s no better way to combine food with friends and family than a summer barbecue. The simple recipe is: good weather, good company and good food.

Barbecues often have a reputation for being basic, no-frills cooking—but, in truth, they provide ample scope for culinary invention. Even traditional favourites like the cheeseburger or hot dog can be reinvigorated or given an innovative spin by adding fresh, summer ingredients and combining with a well-matched Canadian cheese. And a homemade sauce or dressing not only provides a healthy alternative to standard ketchup or mayo, it can also help bring out the flavours of the meat, fish or grilled vegetables of your choice.

This recipe is a Mediterranean-inspired take on the traditional burger in a bun. Beef makes way for pork, and wholesome slices of Canadian Feta cheese add texture and tang to complement a refreshing garnish finished with mint and lemon. The ideal match for these Mediterranean flavours is a light red wine, such as a Gamay. Beaujolais, for example, is a fruity, light-bodied Gamay that can be served slightly chilled and will superbly complement the full flavours of this recipe.

FETA PITA

•    Prep. time 20 min.
•    Cooking time 15 min.
•    Yields 4 to 6 servings

WHAT YOU NEED

1 1/3 lb (600 g) lean ground pork
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped onion
1 tsp (5 ml) paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon
2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1/2 cup (125 ml) breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 to 6 thick, small pita breads

Garnish:

4 oz (120 g) Canadian Feta, sliced
1/2 cup (125 ml) sliced cherry tomatoes
12 thin cucumber slices
2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly chopped mint
2 tsp (10 ml) lemon zest

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat barbeque to medium-high or the oven to 425°F (210°C).
Place all ingredients, except pita breads and garnish, in a mixing bowl.
Season to taste and combine.
Divide preparation into four to six parts and shape into patties.
Place patties on grill or on parchment-covered baking sheet on centre rack of oven. Cook burgers 12 to 15 minutes turning them over only once.
Heat pita breads. Garnish and serve.

Less meat, more cheese

Other ideas for a barbecue with a difference include Papillotes of Herbed Fish with Gouda, a delicious recipe for barbecued salmon or white fish generously topped with fresh herbs and melted Canadian Gouda. Serve with a Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet.

Alternatively, why not make cheese the centrepiece of your barbecue with our recipe for Grilled Creamy Brie, Fresh Tomato and Red Onion Focaccia? This refreshing summer dish makes a change from the barbecue staple of meat—and provides an excellent option for vegetarians. It pairs well with a dry Rosé de Provence or an oaked Chardonnay.

For more unique barbecue recipes with Canadian cheeses, go to allyouneedischeese.ca.