Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grilled Summer Squash

We've received a healthy dose of summer squash for the last two weeks in our CSA box. Thankfully, we opted not to plant zucchini in the backyard this year. So we are not swimming in squash as we have in years past.

But squash season and grilling season are the perfect combination. Grilling the mild squash on that outdoor BBQ gives it a flavor and texture that you can't get from the skillet. You can also keep it fairly simple (and low cal) by just using some olive oil and herbs. It's the perfect side dish to serve along whatever else you may have on the grill.

  1. Pre-heat the grill to medium high heat
  2. Slice off the tops and bottoms of the squash and then slice into uniform slices - about a 1/4" is ideal
  3. Toss in a bowl with some olive oil, pinch of salt, black pepper and whatever dried herbs you want (oregano, basil, thyme, garlic or onion powder, or your favorite combo or seasoning mix). It's best to let this sit for a while to let the flavors get into the squash
  4. Place slices directly on the grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side - the grill marks make it more interesting
At this point, you can serve as is but you can also take it up a notch by topping the grilled squash with a little something extra that will greatly enhance the flavor. Adding this after the grilling ensures that whatever flavors you add are not lost on the grill. My favorite is a generous sprinkle of Penzey's Fox Point seasoning. In fact, that is the perfect seasoning for all vegetables whether grilled or steamed. Fox Point is a blend of seasonings that does a great job "brightening" the flavor of vegetables. I love it!

But you can also look online for other ideas for that post-grill flavor addition:
Squash has a lot of water in it so it will cool quickly. So it's best to serve immediately.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grilled Leg of Lamb

I know, I advertise myself as a pescetarian. So why is there a recipe for grilled lamb here? Well, we had a dinner party and the theme was spring and you can't get anymore "spring-y" than a leg of lamb. Plus, these guests were carnivores. A spring vegetable risotto was also served for those who wanted to avoid meat.

We remembered an old recipe that we used to make back when we ate meat. It was from the Los Angeles Times and I recalled many of the ingredients. But we culled all the meat recipes from our notebooks long ago. So I did some research online and found this recipe that approximates what I remembered.

The recipe (and the photo) come from the Cooking San Francisco food blog (and they acknowledge that the recipe originally comes from The New Basics Cookbook). It's easy to make and quite tasty (if you eat meat). And, yes, I did eat the lamb that night.

Marinated Grilled Leg of Lamb
  • 1 4-5 lb. boneless leg of lamb (ask the butcher to butterfly it so that it can lay flat)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, slightly bruised
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine the wine, soy sauce, garlic, mint, rosemary, and pepper in a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Mix well. Place the lamb in the dish turning it over a few times so that the marinade covers all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (I did it overnight). Turn the lamb frequently.
  2. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling. Prepare grill on high heat.
  3. Remove lamb from dish and let the excess liquid drain off. Keep the marinade.
  4. Grill lamb over medium high heat (around 450 degrees). Baste frequently with the marinade. The internal temperature of the lamb should be 145 degrees for medium-rare.
  5. Cut the lamb into very thin slices and serve.