Garden On The Grill
The Summer season is upon us. This is most evident in the produce aisle! Tomatoes are,once again, tomato-red, stone fruit is juicy, and our favorite Brentwood corn has arrived. And, best of all, our gardens are yielding their Summer bounty.
The best way we can think of to experience this amazing, regional produce is outdoors and on the grill.
Many cultural traditions use the barbecue, not just for meats, but to prepare delicious vegetable and fruit dishes. Here are a few staff picks of recipes (links included).
Create a themed BBQ party with Summer produce!
Grillin' in Style
Gourmet grillers will appreciate the dramatic presentation made with Grapevine Trading Company's Rosemary BBQ Skewers. They are great of for meats, fish, vegetables or even fruit.
To use, simply soak skewers briefly in water to prohibit flame. Pierce your food with the sharp point then thread onto the rosemary skewers.
Here is a great recipe from our archives that highlights figs on the grill. By Michael Chiarello.
8 Black Mission figs
1/2 cup blue cheese, cut into cubes
8 prosciutto (thinly sliced, cut in half lengthwise)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat grill. You will need medium to high heat for grilling. The key is to crisp the prosciutto quickly and leave the blue cheese just melted with the inner part of the fig cool in temperature.
Cut the figs in half and place a piece of blue cheese on each fig half. Wrap the prosciutto around each fig half, covering the cheese. The ends of the prosciutto should overlap.
Grill each piece until the prosciutto begins to color and crisp, about 2 minutes on each side.
Remove from grill, lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Serve warm. Serves four. Read the post...
If you love green tea, Ito En's line of smooth brews are great summer beverages. We're not talking about those common sweet teas, but real Japanese tea with a mellow, nutty flavor. In fact, these teas are what folks all over Japan grab from groceries and convenience stores. Ito En has dedicated themselves to making green tea a part of American culture.
One of our favorites is the Jasmine Green. It's light, refreshing, and very Japanese. Other great flavors are the Oi Ocha, Blueberry Green, Mango Oolong and their Half & Half with lemonade. Read More...
Small, local, and doin' it right!
The Bay Area Bee Company is one of those vendors you want to brag about. Their fantastic honey is produced in small batches, and closely monitored because they really care about their bees and the local honeybee population.
Bay Area Bee Company raises hives and produces honey to grow healthy colonies. They hand-manage each hive, placing it with great care in locations all around the Bay. Their bees live in environments with the best food, water sources, and weather conditions protected from extreme elements.
This makes for some delicious honey! Read More...
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies
Any recipe that begins with the description, "These are evil. And they must be destroyed." is definitely worth investigating!
The Pioneer Woman is one of our favorite recipe blogs. She is delightfully eccentric with exceptionally good taste. What a great combination.
20 whole Fresh Jalapenos, 2-3 Inches In Size
2 cubes Cream Cheese, Softened
1 pound Thin (regular) Bacon, Sliced Into Thirds
If you have them, slip on some latex gloves for the pepper prep...
Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT).
Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle.
Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You don't want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to the squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn't look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it.
Serve immediately, or they're also great at room temperature.
You can visit The Pioneer Woman's website here.