Gone are the days when local farmers harvested their crops, trucked them into town, and sold them to grocery stores—direct from the fields. That craving for really fresh food, I believe, is the reason for a 400% increase in farmers markets in the last twenty years. Vegetables, once an afterthought for the dining table, have taken top billing and can be a challenge for the grill master.
I bought a new grill at the end of last season, Home Depot/Weber, and I’m determined to learn a thing or two about the sport. So, I scour recipes I’ve cut out of magazines that are messily kept in several folders I’ve been meaning to sort through and categorize. (sigh)
If I start with veggies and ruin them, it won’t break the bank. And with summer’s variety and abundance I get fresh, colorful, delicious offerings. So, I buy one of those flat, veggie grilling plates with holes. I sprinkle zucchini, summer squash, onions, and carrots, all thinly sliced, with olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh thyme, and a little garlic powder. On the grilling plate, they cook nicely without falling through the rungs of the grill.
Next, I pull out my tried and true recipe for Steak and Bacon Tournedos. The recipe is so yellowed I can hardly read it. I can’t give credit to anyone because I cut it out so long ago, I’ve forgotten where. (The link to the recipe follows.) It’s wonderful, and one of those can’t-make-a-mistake main courses. And ladies, your guy will love them!
For a beverage, I decide on something I saw in a magazine and didn’t cut out unfortunately—a watermelon, lemonade, and tea drink that looked scrumptious. But, what the heck, it can’t be that hard. So, I mess around with equal quantities of all three and come up with a lovely concoction that will do fine. (and might taste even better with a splash of your favorite summer libation!)
Dessert on the grill might look like this: halve ripe, fresh peaches, brush the cut side with oil, (I have a wonderful Blood Orange Olive Oil I received as a gift from a foodie friend that works great). Set the peaches, cut side down on the grill, until they soften and caramelize. Cut up and serve over ice cream. Yum!
Add a tossed salad and you’ve got a summer party.
Hmm…Maybe I should make a few phone calls. Any takers?
Annalisa Russo is a published author and master storyteller based in Chicago, IL. Currently writing with The Wild Rose Press, she is about to release her seventh book: A Girl’s Best Friend. You can read more about it and the author at annalisarusso.com. Follow Annalisa Russo on Twitter, Facebook, BookBub, and Goodreads.