Summer is made for dinners al fresco with nearby neighbors and new acquaintances. You might not have realized that your July barbecues and patio hangouts were, however, in celebration of an under-appreciated and effortlessly natural holiday--National Grilling Month.
To celebrate, I'm sharing some secrets with my Midtown specialty grocer The Fresh Market for cooking juicy, flavor-packed grilled sides at your next outdoor spread. All you need is begin a well-oiled or "au natural" charcoal grill...and a bottle of chilled white wine, of course.
Ciabatta Bruschetta I am a huge fan of ciabatta bread for the grill, either to load up a tomato mozzarella medley, dip in olive oil or sprinkle with parmesan. To prepare, slice the loaf horizontally and drizzle each slice with olive oil and freshly chopped garlic. Grill for roughly 3 minutes on each side. I love to snack on a few Castelvetrano olives while the ciabatta crisps and caramelizes. The Fresh Market's "Grill Master" Peter Mays recommends to, before serving, sprinkle the ciabatta with sea salt and basil.
Grilled Asparagus + Brussels Bright green vegetables not only look gorgeous, but they also enliven any spread or supper. Not to mention, you'll feel healthier when a few stalks of asparagus are paired with rich grilled entrées and carbs. The key to these vegetables is to coat evenly with olive oil, squeeze lemon while they're sizzling on the grill, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes to serve warm or at room temperature.
Potato Salad To grill, slice red skin potatoes in half inch rounds, drizzle with olive oil, place on grill and cover for about 5 minutes. Flip potatoes and repeat. Roughly chop potatoes and toss with sliced scallions, lemon juice, a spoonful of course grain mustard, salt, pepper and fresh parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This post is brought to you by The Fresh Market. Thank you for being supportive of my sponsors.