By Liam Finnegan, head chef at Castle Bow Restaurant and BRAZZ, Taunton

Goats cheese with grilled summer vegetables and hazelnuts

June is the official start to summer and, for me, barbecues epitomise summery food. It’s the smell and textures that do it for me. Charring and coal-fired barbecues have come to the forefront of food trends. And in honour of the season, I’ve created a fresh recipe to bring out the best in your summer vegetables.


(Makes six starter portions)

  • 400g goat’s cheese log
  • 120g Greek yoghurt
  • Two fresh peppers (red and yellow for extra colour)
  • Ten cherry tomatoes
  • One courgette
  • One bunch basil
  • 10g pine nuts
  • Two garlic cloves
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 20g grated Parmesan
  • 20 hazelnuts


  • For the goat’s cheese mousse, remove the rind and leave to come to room temperature.
  • Blend in food processor with the Greek yoghurt until smooth; season to taste. Place in a disposable piping bag and leave to rest in fridge until serving.
  • Fire up the barbecue and prepare your vegetables to required size. Char the vegetables on both sides. Dress in olive oil and place in a container once cooled.
  • Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Finely shave one clove of garlic, place thyme leaf on top and lightly season with sugar, salt pepper and olive oil. Leave the tray somewhere warm for an hour or do them just before serving.
  • To dress this dish, use a basic vinaigrette and basil pesto. Pick your basil leaf and place in a food processor with toasted pine nuts, peeled garlic clove, grated parmesan and half the oil. Pulse to your desired consistency and add more oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure the balance is right and adjust if needed. Remember the garlic will only get stronger.

You could serve this up as a side dish for a barbecue on a big platter, or as a starter at a dinner party. It’s very easy as the only thing left to dress is the plate as everything is done well in advance.

Simple things like removing the skin of the pepper, tomatoes and carefully removing the pith from the peppers makes all the difference. It’s little touches that bring an ordinary dish to extraordinary.

Chef’s tip

If you have left over vegetables, keep them aside.

They are banging with a grilled piece of poultry, fresh fish or have them in a chilled salad the next day.