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Fired up Vegetarian

The subtitle says it all. No nonsense barbecuing. The sort you want to do when there's no pressure, no pretension and just good friends and family gathering around the altar of good old Aussie food: the backyard barbie. Except - big question - what do vegetarians eat at a barbecue?

You only need to turn a few pages to realise that Dobson (and his recipes) may not be putting on airs but he sure as anything has kept up with food trends and cultural changes. For starters, there's been a subtle shift from meat, meat, meat at barbecues around the country, and the Aussie background is no longer primarlily Anglo-Saxon either. So Dobson has picked up on these changes and played it out to the extent that, with this glistening array of potato, cheese, bread, corn, spinach and tomato dishes, anointed with spicy dips and splashed with tasty sauces, guests might hardly notice the absence of meat on their plates.  

In Fired Up he turns traditional barbecue recipes on their heads to create colourful and flavoursome dishes that every vegetable fan and vegetarian will love. Drawing on culinary influences from around the globe, including South East Asia, India, the Middle East and Europe, Fired Up Vegetarian features 80 easy-to-cook recipes, with everything from silverbeet and feta gozleme and barbie ghanoush to jalapeno jam or Buddha's delight.

"What often makes a barbecue memorable", says Dobson, " are all those extra things." So this is a book of 'extra things' that can become the main things - or not. Chances are they will migrate inside during colder weather and be perfectly welcome there too.

Fired Up Vegetarian, no nonsense barbecuing, by Ross Dobson, published by Murdoch Books, August 2013, hardcover, rrp $34; ISBN:9781743363539



Ross Dobson's love affair with all things food began at a young age under the influence of his neighbours from Italy and Hong Kong. After studying writing and communications, Ross found himself constantly drawn to food and in the food-mad town of Sydney he had his own successful cafe and catering business before venturing into the world of food publishing. Ross has several books under his belt and is constantly searching for accessible, exotic ingredients and exploring different cooking techniques. In Fired Up Ross goes outside to cook on the barbecue in the great Australian style; laid back cooking with flavours from the world over to give a fresh look to barbecued food.

- by Sally Hammond


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