Summer grilling makes meals quick and easy
July 7, 2006
Well, summer is here. Fresh fruit and vegetables are showing up everywhere, from farmers markets to your neighborhood grocery store. I’m sure a few of you might even be getting some bounty from your own gardens.
Cooking doesn’t have to be so labor intensive in the summer – just grab, throw together, and eat. Once you’ve got your grill going, you can cook your meat, veggies and even your dessert. Grilling fresh peaches and pineapple is wonderful this time of year.
By the end of this month, the tomatoes should be pretty good eating. I’ve been holding out since last November, waiting for that first red ripe tomato to sink my teeth into. I refuse to eat store-bought tomatoes that taste little better than cardboard. I just do without in the winter and try to eat what’s in season when it’s “in season.” That way you’re pretty sure to get the best of what’s available.
I had the chance to go to the Tuolumne Farmers Market (in California, about 10 miles outside of Sonora), which is where I got the blackberries for the galette you see in the picture. Even though it is a very small market, what a delight it was.
It’s in a park in the town square with the vendors around the perimeter. All the people sit in their chairs on the lawn in the shade, eating dinner and listening to the music. It is the most relaxing, kick-back market I’ve ever been to, and well worth the 55-mile drive each way to get there.
But you don’t have to go farther than the Wednesday night farmers market right here in town to get some great blackberries. Stop by and see Keith, the blackberry vendor. That’s all he sells, and his blackberries are delicious.
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Another option for fresh produce and flowers will be the parking lot of Adele’s 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays.
Smith and Smith Farms of Dayton will be selling their Buckaroo Bouquets for this first week. Here are some of the veggies they will sell: potatoes, onions, green garlic, squash, chard and lettuce. They are not selling at the market this year, so if you miss them and their fine selection of organic produce and flowers, stop by Adele’s.
Have a little dinner on the restaurant verandah, listen to Craig and Terry, and take home some great produce.
This first recipe I’m going to share with you is one my husband, Ralph, got at a cooking class he took at the Mondavi Winery from chef Alice Waters (modified). Even though he’s not much of a baker, he can make this dessert. It’s much easier than making a pie because it’s free form.
One recipe for single pie crust (your favorite; I use Betty Crocker)
2-3 cups fruit (you can use berries, apples, peaches or apricots)
1Ú2 cup sugar
2 T. flour
Toss ingredients and put in middle of rolled out in a circle dough. Fold dough toward middle of the circle and crimp together. Transfer to baking sheet or pizza pie pan and bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown.
This next recipe came from the San Francisco Chronicle and makes a great side dish. The thickly sliced onions become soft and sweet as they slowly cook.
Bleu Cheese Onions
4 large red or yellow onions
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
4-5 ounces bleu cheese
3Ú4 cup panko crumbs
You will need 4 to 6 long metal skewers. Preheat grill to moderate-low heat. Peel the onions and slice horizontally into at least 1-inch-thick slices. Run a skewer through the slices so the layers hold together. Brush both sides with oil and salt and pepper. Place onions on grill; cover loosely with foil. Turn occasionally until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly brown panko crumbs in a pan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Place panko in a bowl to cool slightly. Crumble the bleu cheese into small pieces and mix with panko. When the onions are done, brush onions with balsamic vinegar then top each slice with the bleu cheese mixture and press down firmly. Re-cover the onions with foil and allow cheese to melt. Serve immediately. Yields about 10-12 pieces.
Try these, they are yummy.
• Linda Marrone has been a Carson City resident since 1973, and together with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.