Sticking to seasonal fruits and veggies for your backyard BBQ will not only prove for best taste, there are also many other benefits of eating with the season.
1. IT’S HEALTHY: Helps build your immunities, while providing the highest level of antioxidants in that fruit or veggie (because of its exposure to the sun) than in any other season.
2. PESTICIDE + GMO FREE: Can grow easily without the assistance of pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives. (Buy from your local farmer’s market to make doubly sure you know where your produce is coming from)
3. LOCALLY GROWN: Is most likely available locally grown which means it didn’t have to take a boat, a plane or a truck to get into your mouth- thus reducing “food mileage” aka carbon footprint.
4. COSTS LESS: Because it is in season, there is generally an abundance of it and the cost is less than buying it at any other time
Check out these delicious summer recipes currently inspiring us:
- 3-4 large yukon potatoes, sliced into 1/3" strips
- summer truffle salt, to taste
- Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, separated
- 2 Tablespoons truffle oil, separated
- Finely chopped parsley for garnish
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- Summer truffle salt, to taste
- Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon truffle oil
- 1/2 cup chives, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Slice potatoes into 1/3-inch strips and place in medium mixing bowl
- Add summer truffle salt, black pepper, and 1 Tablespoon each Parmigiano-Reggiano and truffle oil to bowl
- Toss potatoes until well coated
- Lay potatoes in a simple layer on parchment-covered baking sheet
- Bake potatoes for 18-22 minutes, turning potatoes halfway through to ensure even baking
- While potatoes are baking, add eggs, mustard, salt, and pepper to a food processor, blend well for 1 minute
- Add lemon juice and garlic, blend for 1 minute
- Add olive oil and truffle oil, blend until thickened to desired consistency
- Fold in chives with a spatula
- Remove fries from oven
- Toss fries in remaining truffle oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley until coated and serve with truffle aioli for dipping
- Cheesecloth (or coffee filter)
- 1 (32-oz.) container plan low-fat yogurt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 Teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2 pounds fresh okra, trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Line a wire-mesh strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth or 1 (12-cup) coffee filter. Place strainer over a bowl. Spoon yogurt into strainer. Cover and chill 24 hours. Remove yogurt, discarding strained liquid.
- Preheat grill to 400° to 450° (high) heat. Combine strained yogurt, basil, next 3 ingredients, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Toss together okra, olive oil, and remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in a large bowl.
- Grill okra, covered with grill lid, over 400° to 450° (high) heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool 5 minutes.
- Transfer okra to a serving dish, and serve with dipping sauce. Garnish with ground pepper if desired.
- Consider serving with reusable stainless steel skewers or leave as is for a finger food!
Recommended Ingredient link: black pepper
- Three parts watermelon
- One part feta cheese (note: sheep feta is recommended as it tends to have a deeper, more interesting taste than cow feta)
- A small bunch of mint
- Fair trade, organic ground black pepper or grains of paradise
- Cut the watermelon into one inch chunks and place in large bowl.
- Crumble feta into the bowl with the watermelon.
- Tear mint into 1/8"-1/4" pieces.
- Grind a little black pepper or grains of paradise atop all ingredients and stir gently with a large wooden spoon.
Recommended Ingredient link: grains of paradise
- 1/2 cup quinoa of choice
- 1 cup water
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 Teaspoons thyme, divided (oregano would be good too)
- 1/2 – 1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or ground chipotle chilies, optional
- 2 cups cooked white beans
- 1/2 cup corn, fresh (about 1/2 fresh corn off the cob)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced (about 1/2 bell pepper)
- 1/2 cup shallot, finely diced (about 1 medium) or red onion
- juice of one lemon
- 1/3 cup oat flour, or flour of choice
- 1 egg (or for a vegan recipe - use an egg replacement of 1 flaxegg: 1 Tbs flaxseed meal + 3 Tbs water)
- Mineral salt & cracked pepper, to taste (try Hickory Smoked Sea Salt for a BBQ flavor)
- Coconut or olive oil, to grease
- tomato, sliced
- leafy greens
- avocado, sliced or mashed
- red onion, sliced
- whole grain or dijon mustard (hummus or vegan mayo is great too)
- burger buns of choice
- If using an egg alternative, start by making your flaxegg or ener-g egg replacer and set aside. If baking in the oven, turn oven to 375 degrees F. (It’s helpful to first read instructions first before making the patties)
- In a medium pot, bring water, quinoa, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon thyme to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove cover and let set for 10 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare your corn, shallot and red pepper. Be sure to dice your onion and red pepper fairly fine, they should be about the same size as the corn kernels.
- Next, mash your beans. I mashed about 3/4 of the beans leaving a quarter of the batch whole or somewhat whole.
- Once quinoa is ready, add the quinoa to the beans along with the shallots, red pepper, corn, remaining 2 Teaspoons thyme, smoked paprika and optional chipotle powder and lemon juice. Mix well. Add in the flour and egg replacer, mix well again. Season to taste with salt, pepper and more of the other spices. We all vary on how strong we like our spices…you can’t take out but you can always put in.
- Now to divide and make your patties. I like to pat my mixture into the bowl a little and divide it with a knife into 4 sections, making a plus sign if you will. Take each section and pack it tightly into a ball in the palm of your hands. It should be about the size of your hand. Flatten with your palms and place on hard surface. Cup the edges with your palms and tighten them in a bit and flatten the top to the desired size. Mine were about 1/2 inch thick by 3 1/2 – 4 inches.
- In the oven at 375 degrees on a greased or parchment lines cookie sheet for 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes. I also added a sprinkle of himalayan salt to the top before baking.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Cook patties about 4 – 5 minutes on each side.
- 1 1/2 oz white rum or gin
- 1 oz simple syrup (or dissolved honey- try ginger infused honey for an extra kick)
- 1 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice + several slices
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Hibiscus sugar, garnish for rim of glass (optional)
- Dip slightly dampened rim of Collins glass in hibiscus sugar. (optional)
- In glass, muddle the simple syrup, juice and rosemary.
- Add liquor and then fill the glass with ice.
- Top off with club soda.
- Put grapefruit slices in the glass.
Recommended Ingredient link: hibiscus sugar
- 1 Tablespoon sugar (or raw honey)
- 4 apricots, halved and pitted
- 8 Teaspoons fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons chopped pistachios
- Preheat broiler. Place sugar in a small saucer. Dip cut side of apricots in sugar to coat and transfer to a small broiler proof baking dish. Broil, rotating once, until apricots are caramelized and juicy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove apricots from oven. Let cool slightly and top with ricotta and pistachios. Serve immediately.
Recommended Ingredient link: raw honey