This is the ideal time of year for grilling, and many summer fruits and vegetables pair wonderfully with the grill. Stone fruit is at its peak, and peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, and pluots are not to be missed. Grilled fruit is the perfect way to end a summer barbeque. Choose fruit that is ripe or even a bit on the firmer side of ripe for grilling. If the fruit is too soft it could turn to mush when you try to cut it and will not hold up as well on the grill. Cut stone fruit in half vertically and brush with olive oil (for extra flavor, finely chop some fresh rosemary into the olive oil) and grill until desired doneness, resulting in intensely flavored fruit with beautiful grill marks. Drizzle your grilled fruit with balsamic vinegar for extra zing and enjoy as is or serve with fresh cream, ricotta or mascarpone cheese, or ice cream for a special treat.
For the burger lovers, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets are an excellent place to buy meat for your barbeques. Rocky Canyon from Atascadero sells humanely raised beef and pork that is free of hormones and antibiotics. Their grass-fed burger patties have a wonderful meaty taste. Once you make these burgers you will never need to go out to find the perfect burger – it will now come from your own stove or barbeque! Rocky Canyon is at the Wednesday, Saturday Downtown, and Sunday Main Street Farmers’ Markets. Linder Bison, at the Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Markets, sell humanely raised bison. I just recently ate my first bison burger, and it was delicious and is much leaner than beef.
Grilled summer vegetables make a wonderful side dish and can even constitute a meal in itself. Peppers, corn, eggplants, zucchini, squash, potatoes, onions, and many other vegetables are excellent grilled. A few weeks ago, Chef Mark Gold did a grilled vegetable demonstration at the Wednesday Market. The key to making tasty grilled vegetables is to marinate them. Here is Mark’s recipe for a spectacular marinade that works well for all vegetables. Happy grilling!
Recipe courtesy of Chef Mark Gold
2 each shallot, minced
3 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
2 tablespoon chopped mint
3 tablespoon chive minced
4 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the minced shallots in a bowl with the champagne vinegar. Let steep for 1 hour. Combine all of the herbs along with the salt in a mortar and grind to a fine paste with a pestle. Add the herb paste to the steeped shallots along with the olive oil and mix well.