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Many foods are too delicate to survive the lines of a normal barbecue, but with the Weber Griddle, you make make everything from smoky octopus to veggies simmering in their own juices – with no risk of the dreaded drop below.

Chef Denny Imbroisi on why starters are key

Starters turn dinner time into something sophisticated, a real occasion, and set the tone for the evening. Chef Denny Imbroisi, who runs the show at the acclaimed Parisian restaurant IDA, knows all about sophistication.

Although originally from Calabria in southern Italy, he has been fully initiated into the refined elegance of French cooking: he’s even worked under Alain Ducasse at his restaurant Jules Verne, perhaps the peak of Gallic excellence.

No mean feat! As the saying goes, “You eat with your eyes,” so the first thing you dish up needs to look good, says Imbroisi: “Starters need to be the best part of the meal, visually as well, so that people are immediately impressed.”

The joys of griddle barbecuing

"Starters need to be the best part of the meal"

He recommends using the Weber griddle, an ideal accessory for food that needs a careful touch. “Of course, you need to monitor the cooking process, but this griddle makes it easier to do so, even as a home cook.” The griddle’s double-sided surface is ideal for grilling delicate food that otherwise would be impossible to cook on the bars of cooking grates.

The griddle is made from porcelain-enameled cast iron, which provides exceptional heat retention and distribution, ensuring evenly cooked food. “Take our seared octopus, avocado and tomato recipe for example: the octopus was evenly colored and had a beautiful color. This griddle makes it possible to cook thinner, more delicate ingredients on a barbecue and to also work with cooking juices.” The griddle’s surface area covers half the barbecue, so you can cook vegetables simultaneously while grilling meat, poultry – whatever you wish!

For this recipe, Imbroisi used the griddle on the Pulse grill. “It displays the current cooking temperature and keeps it constant ... I would really recommend home cooks to get an electric barbecue because it’s precise and easy to use.” The griddle is also the perfect partner for Weber charcoal and gas barbecues: simply make sure you’ve thoroughly preheated it before starting. The griddle is one of the most versatile Weber accessories you can get. A must-have item for your grill kit!

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The griddle’s surface area covers half the barbecue, so you can cook vegetables simultaneously while grilling meat, poultry – whatever you wish! For this recipe, Imbroisi used the griddle on the Pulse grill. “It displays the current cooking temperature and keeps it constant ... I would really recommend home cooks to get an electric barbecue because it’s precise and easy to use.”

The griddle is also the perfect partner for Weber charcoal and gas barbecues: simply make sure you’ve thoroughly pre-heated it before starting. The griddle is one of the most versatile Weber accessories you can get. A must-have item for your grill kit!

Ingredients

  • circleServes: 4
  • 360 g pickled octopus
  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • 3 avocados, halved
  • 2 raw beetroots
  • 1 whole coloured cauliflower (yellow or purple)
  • 2 doughnut peaches
  • 100 g white balsamic vinegar
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Sprigs of cress or basil
  • Salt, pepper
  •  
  • Special Equipment
  • Griddle

Instructions

  • 1. Wash, pare and prepare the ingredients: Cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and set them aside for cooking on the griddle. Cut the peaches into quarters and leave them to marinate in the white balsamic vinegar for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cut the tomato into thick round slices. Break off small coloured cauliflower florets and thinly slice them. With a mandoline, slice the beetroot into ribbons and chill them in a bowl of iced water (between 2–10°C) together with the herbs to preserve the colours and textures.

  • 2. Prepare the barbecue for cooking on direct heat at 240°C and preheat the griddle.

  • 3. When the griddle is hot, sear the six avocado halves for about 2 minutes on each side. Keep four halves for serving. In a bowl, use a fork to crush the remaining two halves into a guacamole; blend in one teaspoon (5 ml) of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and keep it chunky.

  • 4. Pour a dash of olive oil on the griddle, place the octopus and tomatoes on it and grill them for about 5 minutes, making sure to cook them properly on all sides.

  • 5. For each serving, arrange a tomato in the center of a plate, add one half of a grilled avocado filled with the homemade guacamole, then place a piece of octopus on top of it for volume. To finish, add the beetroot ribbons, quartered peaches, cress and sliced florets of coloured cauliflower, and finish the dish off with a dash of olive oil to taste.

  • All of our recipes are created by our expert chefs at the Weber Grill Academy. View more inspirational recipes or book a course at the Grill Academy now.

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