Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Peppers roasting in the street in Avola, Sicily

This has been the summer of BBQ’s both at home and away. We went back to Sicily and loved it just as much the second time.

Kindly pepper roaster

On every street corner in Sicily there seemed to be someone with a little BBQ roasting peppers or fish. We stopped here in Avola to buy some aubergines and peppers and the man above gave me a bag of cherries as a present when I took his picture.

In Palermo the men in via Butera spent the whole day preparing the charcoal and fish in the street before doing a roaring trade in the evening with crowds sitting at their rough tables on miss matched chairs, eating freshly caught fish.

Roasted aubergines in Sicily

Elsewhere round the island people roasted what they had on homemade BBQ grills in the street. Aubergines, peppers, onions. The smells tempt you as you walk past. Unlike here in the UK no one is quoting health and safety regulations at them, so they grow their veg or buy it from the local van that drives around the street and roast it. Other people buy it. Simple.  

Seafront near Avola,Sicily

We spent a week on the coast outside Noto, the gorgeous baroque town I have posted about before and home to the wonderful Caffe Sicilia- more about that later, and I went to Pescheria FLLI SPUGNETTI fishmongers in Avola, with my friend Ernesto.

Pescheria, near Avola, Sicily

The locals go as much for a chat as to buy their fish. Each visit includes handshakes, pats on the back and lots of banter. 

Fresh swordfish, Sicily

Catch of the day, Sicily

Chatting with the customers, Pescheria Avola

Banter on the shop floor! Sicily

One of the best things we ate was from them was local dentice, which looks a bit like a sea bream but apparently isn’t. It was quite simply delicious.

Fresh Sicilian Dentice, ready to BBQ.

Back at home, keen to prolong the holiday spirit and fight the creeping autumnal chill, we have continued to BBQ. The best thing has been local Hampshire trout, simply seasoned and with wedges of lemon. We might have to wear jumpers and sometimes due to rain, sit indoors but it tasted fantastic. 

Which sort of makes up for the cold!  

Hampshire Trout ready to BBQ


1.     Keep it simple.
2.     Buy some fresh fish. Easier said than done here, where there aren’t many fishmongers. But supermarkets are fine.
3.     Heat the BBQ and make sure you have a wire rack that the fish can’t fall through.
4.     Wash the fish in cold water. Some suggestions for serving
Trout – stuff wedges of lemon in the sides two per fish
Dentice- sea bream or snapper stuff with herbs like basil, parsley and bay then drizzle with olive oil and lemon
Prawns- as they are. Serve with a garlic butter or mayonnaise
Sword fish- drizzle with lemon and olive oil

 Cooking time varies but is always quick, about 7 minutes per side for the trout and slightly more for the larger fish.

BBQ prawns in San Vito, Sicily

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