I’m proud of myself for how much I used the grill this summer. I’ll admit, the heat and our lack of air conditioning had a lot to do with it. Additionally, we lost power for over a week from a storm, so our oven was out of commission anyway.
One of my favorite things from the grill was a pizza flat bread. I was re-inspired by an article in Bon Appetit magazine which gave tips on grilling flat bread. So I went to work and made the dough from Alton Brown, but divided it into 4 balls for even more diversity!
For each of these toppings, I followed the directions laid out by Alton Brown, rolling out the dough, spreading the top with oil, flipping it over and grilling the oiled side for 2 minutes, remove from heat, oil the non-grilled side, flip, top with ingredients and then grill for an additional 2 minutes. Depending on what you’re looking for, grill time may vary from 1-2 minutes, so check the bottom and stop before you get past the point of no return.
Topping 1 – Margarita. 1 large tomato (sliced and grilled alongside the pizza, per Mr Brown’s instructions), a handful of Diaya Cheese, and a handful of basil chiffonade.
Topping 2 – Basil Pesto. Pesto and 1 large tomato (sliced and grilled alongside the pizza, per Mr Brown’s instructions)
Topping 3 – Sun dried Tomato and Green Charmoula. Green charmoula spread and sun dried tomatoes (chopped).
Topping 4 – Sausage & Cheese. Field Roast Italian Sausage (chopped), Diaya Cheese, tomato sauce and pesto.
Use whatever sorts of proportions you’d like. I’ll share my recipe for the Green Charmoula spread below. I originally made the one from the magazine, but it taste, unsavory, so I added some extra herbage and sugar. Combined with the tomatoes, I think it turned out pretty good.
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/8 cup mint leaves
- /2 tsp ginger, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pulse all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor, scraping down until combined and the herbs shredded.
- With the food processor running, slowly add olive oil until the mixture comes together into a spreadable paste.
- Season with salt and pepper.
As a follow-up to the cliff hanger I left a few days ago, I have grilling stories to share. If you don’t know what I mean, we received our first ever grill last week and we’ve been antsy to use it.
So, last Friday we fired it up. In preparation, I bought some local corn from the farmer’s market and we harvested a few tomatoes from our garden. I figured there was no better way to celebrate summer grilling than corn on the cob and burgers. Black bean burgers to be exact. I used the recipe from Chex Cayanne.
We mixed them together quickly and topped them with fresh tomatoes, guacamole and some red onions. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to bake buns, but I’ll make sure to for next time. They were very tasty and held up perfectly on the grill.
Just have to love summer sometimes.Posted on August 10th, 2011 by Dan
It is a beautiful day today, bright sun, cool breeze, and not too humid. It’s the perfect day to be outside or sit by an open window. And in fact, it’s very distracting as I try to write this post. Maybe even more distracting is the occasional need for me to carry Michi away from stalking birds.
The bright sun today made it especially nice for photography. First up, our Herb Pot, which always has something exciting going on in it. The catnip we planted in there at the beginning of the summer has practically quadrupled, taking over the whole pot. But we still have healthy parsley and bay leaf plants in there (I know it’s not much of an herb garden, but it came with a nice sign). Well, the parsley attracted a few friendly caterpillars. I am almost %100 these are Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars. We tested it by poking them and they shot up their defensive osmeterium (orange slingshot looking thing).
Unfortunately, we didn’t get any good pictures of the osmeterium because they shot it out so fast and it was scary.
So other than these awesome native caterpillars that we had in the Spring, we recently got some fun fungi along with our herbs.
I have no idea what kind of mushrooms these are, but they’re crazy cool looking. Bright yellow with little pimples all over them.
In another side of the yard (the front), we have our vegetable garden in full growth. This year we decided to implement a ‘Square Foot’ gardening method. This is where you divide the garden in square feet and allocate each square foot with a certain crop. For instance, you can plant one corn plant in a square foot or 4 lettuces or 16 beets. Here’s a photo from early spring when I first started planting. You can still see the dividers.
It looks nice, right? Not sure how well it worked though. Everything grew very nicely, but I feel like the yields weren’t as good as when I wasn’t using a method. Below are a few shots from the garden, fast forwarding to today. Something that really caught us by surprise are these cucumbers. They transformed from blossom to fruit in about 3 days and they’re super long and beautiful. Each one is easily over 2 feet, and the plant is covered in flowers!
I’m also proud of the corn, cabbage and pumpkin vines!
Lastly, we’ll go over to the side of the house and take a look at the ‘Man Garden’, which is my own little special section of the flower garden world, well, mine and my fellow male cats :). For the past month or so, the black-eyed susan has been in full bloom.
And, our newest addition, which happens to be right next to the Man Garden, coincidentally and appropriately, is the grill! Susanna’s mom dropped it off over the weekend (they had two?) and I couldn’t be more excited to use it. I’m thinking corn, pizza, bread, stuffed peppers, pretty much everything. Oh, pardon the cracked backdrop, it’s on the waiting list to be
Lastly, I’ll leave you with a picture of Michi in the fish tank. We have plans to make a sweet terrarium with this, but that’s for another post. It seems like if she’s not in the sink, she’s in the tub or fish tank.
I hope your vegetable garden is doing excellent. What are your favorite things to grill? Give me your best ideas in a comment below.