Summer-veg afternoon delight

Summer-veg afternoon delight

A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

It’s an amazing feeling walking through the gate to my veg patch and looking over all the produce I’ve grown for the family. Sometimes I just peruse and grin. Some people tell me I’m lucky to have a vegetable garden flourishing with food, but luck has nothing to do with it. I worked for this. I made the deliberate choice to grow as much food as possible so as to remove myself from supermarket reliance. It’s involved some digging, some propagating, some planting, some weeding and watering, and a great deal of learning. And it pays off every summer growing season. My garden in full flight is a sight to behold. Anyone’s vegetable garden at the height of summer is amazing to look at. To be able to bend down and pick out something to eat that’s been grown the natural way will give you a phenomenal feeling. And then to cook and eat it – wow, that’s another feeling altogether! It’s not as good a feeling as an afternoon of love or a bottle of aged whisky, but it’s still a pleasure worth incorporating into your life.

Cooking in the garden is practical. It’s better than a hot summer kitchen, and even better with a crisp dry lager washing down the dust and grit of a hot summer breeze. The smell of olive oil and vegetables cooking on the grill is enough to drive me wild. A big bowl of this food sets me up really well for an afternoon siesta in the tree hammock.


Quantity Ingredient
2 eggplants
2 red capsicums, seeds removed
2-3 zucchini
60ml olive oil
rock salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons mint, chopped, plus extra to garnish
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped, plus extra to garnish
200g feta, crumbled
1 jalapeno chilli, chopped
sumac, to serve
sesame seeds, to garnish


  1. Heat the barbecue grill to high, open a cold beer.
  2. Slice all the veg lengthways and put it in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle over the olive oil and crack over some salt and pepper. Toss to ensure an even coating of olive oil.
  3. Cook the veg on the hot barbecue grill, turning frequently until charred and softened. When the veg is cooked, take it off the heat and give it a rough chop into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a bowl or platter.
  4. Toss the veg with the lemon juice, herbs, feta and chilli, and mix well.
  5. Sprinkle with sumac and sesame seeds, use extra herbs to garnish, then serve with another cold beer.


  • This isn’t a groundbreaking new edgy recipe. It’s simple, real, no-bullshit food. It’s food that I grew in my backyard. And that’s what makes it special.
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