Confessions of a Grillaholic

by guest editor Susan Butterworth

A few days ago, Maria Westberg Adams shared her blog post on How to Use all your Farm Share Veggies on the FDC Facebook page. Here’s the link in case you missed it.

One of her tips is a Making a list of what you got and planning meals around it. Posting a list on the refrigerator door, reminding us what’s in there has been a huge help at our house. Storing the produce properly ( thank you to the “How to Store” section in the newsletter!) and Cleaning out the refrigerator once a week has also been hugely helpful to happily getting the most from my Share.

Way, way down the page, Maria lists cooking tips. My mental ears perked up when I got to Grilling. Last summer, for my birthday, my kids gave me my first gas grill. I have to say that Grilling has changed my life when it comes to using and enjoying my veg.

Halsa Nutrition

I love roasted vegetables in the winter, but in summer it is such a pleasure to step out onto my little side deck with a platter of gorgeous, fresh vegetables, sliced or cut into wedges, and enjoy the evening air, breeze, birdsong, butterflies and greenery, and flowers, while I cook. Grilling reminds me to be grateful that I live in paradise and have a bounty of beautiful fresh produce in my kitchen.

I peruse the list on my refrigerator door. The other night, a hot one, we had grilled local striped bass in the place of honor on our table. For the sides, it was a clean-out-the-fridge night. We had a slaw made with the Napa cabbage, garlic scapes, and carrots from the share. I make a vaguely Asian dressing with toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger and mustard. Then we prepared the platter of veg for the grill: golden beets, garlic scapes, a parsnip (remember the spring-dug parsnips?), and broccoli.

I’m a minimalist at the grill; I brush everything with Dancing Goat olive oil, use a little salt and pepper, and that’s it. I like to let the flavor of the veg shine through. It’s interesting how the flavors of the grilled vegetables bloom. Last summer I grilled green cabbage in wedges until it was both crunchy and tender. Did not taste at all like the cabbage my mom used to serve in boiled dinner. Red cabbage would be amazing on the grill. Are you wondering how to use your fennel? Cut into wedges and grill. Simple, delicious. Grilled beets are great; so are grilled onion slices, bok choy, zucchini slices or halves, and mushrooms. I used to boil or roast my corn on the cob. Now I grill it, in the husk. Pairs with grilled tomato slices and basil.

My essential tools are: a silicone brush for brushing with oil and a pair of tongs. The third essential tool is Google. Google grilled corn or grilled fennel or whatever vegetable is floating around the fridge. Lots of recipes to choose from. Easy Peasy. Enjoy your Share!