Tempt your guests at your next backyard BBQ or garden party with these side dishes, bursting with fresh produce and vibrant flavors:
Grilling artichokes adds a smoky flavor to this earthy vegetable.
Try to get the tender, baby ones early in the season, or cut larger ones in half lengthwise. Tear off the hard outer leaves, and trim both the sharp tops of the leaves and the bottom stem. Place them in a pot of cold lemon water and bring to a boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the stem is tender.
Then, fire up the grill! Cut out the choke and the first few layers until you see the bottom. Brush with olive oil and season to taste. Grill until charred lightly.
Squeeze fresh lemon on top and serve with garlic aioli or Greek yogurt mixed with curry powder.
With their natural sweetness, it doesn’t take much effort to make the fresh tomatoes of summer a highlight of your party.
Include both yellow and red ones for a more colorful presentation. Marinate chopped tomatoes off the vine or halved cherry and grape tomatoes in olive oil, with fresh basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Serve as is, or add ciligene – small fresh mozzarella balls, made fresh in our store. Change it up with chopped cucumbers and cubes of avocado. Use the tomato salad as a topping for mini toasted baguette slices, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Summer squash and zucchini
Summer squash and zucchini – which, like tomatoes, are technically fruits – are mild in taste and versatile enough to use in a host of different dishes.
Grill them in slices simply, with olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve with a side of pesto.
Or mix chopped squash with rings of red onions and sauté in bacon fat, with fresh basil and chopped, smoky bacon on top. Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper for a spicy kick!