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Grilled Vegetable Stacks with a Feta Salsa

grilled vegetable stacks with feta salsaIt’s been a scorcher the last two weeks but that hasn’t stopped us from being outdoors.  Summer for us automatically means using the barbeque more – and we grill anything! Of course we grill the usual suspects such as meat, chicken, fish and veggies.  But we also love grilled bread, pizza, artichokes, onions, romaine lettuce, radicchio, Belgium endive, peaches, pineapple, corn on the cob, flatbread, lemons, halloumi cheese…phew! and that’s only the beginning.  Just about anything you cook inside can be taken outdoors.  For dessert think outside the kitchen box and try grilling pound cake slices, banana nutella s’mores, banana split, watermelon etc.  All stone fruits work well on the grill and they end up with a sweeter taste.

Serves 4 as a side
1 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
olive oil
zucchini, sliced
eggplant, sliced
yellow summer squash, sliced

Combine feta, lemon zest, garlic, and olives in a small bowl. Add enough olive oil to moisten the feta mixture; stir to combine. Preheat bbq to 350f. Lightly brush olive oil on the veggies, season and grill both sides until cooked – about 5 minutes depending on how thick the slices are. Remove from heat. To serve, place an eggplant slice on a plate followed by a spoonful of feta salsa, slice of zucchini, another spoonful of feta salsa and topped with summer squash slice. Top the summer squash with a small spoonful of the feta salsa. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

feta salsaThe Culinary Chase’s Note: These grilled vegetable stacks can be prepared straight from the grill or served at room temperature. Either way you’re going to love the flavors. Enjoy!

Grilled Garlicky-Herbed Shrimp

Grilled Garlicky Herbed ShrimpGrilled, poached, fried, battered, roasted, sautéed, steamed – you name it I’ve tried it.  Shrimp are one of my favorite crustaceans, they take little time to cook and there are health benefits, too.  Shrimp is a nutritious alternative to meat proteins as it is low in calories and saturated fat.  It is an excellent source of selenium and unusually low-fat, low-calorie protein. Many people are confused about the fat and cholesterol content of shrimp. However, based on research involving shrimp and blood cholesterol levels, avoidance of shrimp for this reason does not seem justified.  Read more on this at the world’s healthiest foods.  Start the evening off right and serve these garlicky-herbed shrimp with your favorite cocktail.

Serves 4
inspired by Martha Stewart

3 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
20 jumbo shrimp, shells removed

garlicky herbed shrimp CollageCombine all ingredients except shrimp in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to combine making sure all parts of the shrimp is coated in the marinade. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Preheat grill on medium heat. Place shrimp on grill and cook, turning once, until pink – about 5 minutes.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
Want a Mediterranean feel?  Serve the shrimp with a roasted red pepper salad. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Anchovy Panko-Garlic Topping

I was in the city yesterday meeting Mr. S. for a cappuccino and then off for a bit of retail therapy.   I mustn’t have been in the mood as nothing I saw grabbed me except for when it came to a bit of food shopping at Eataly.  It’s my favorite specialty shop in Manhattan showcasing all things Italian.  If you have never been, you’re missing out on quite an experience.  They offer hard-to-find Italian food items that other grocers don’t seem to have or carry on a regular basis and their market has housemade bread, pasta, mozzarella, gelato, and pastries.  Even if you don’t want to buy groceries here, it’s a great place to eat at one of their 9 restaurants.  Want to learn more about food?  Take a cooking class or dine at their monthly chef’s table and learn more about the regional cuisine as the chef prepares your meal.  It’s worth a visit even if only to walk around Eataly and take in all the sights and sounds.

Serves 6
adapted from Food & Wine

2 pounds asparagus
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
7 anchovy fillets in oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons lemon zest
juice of one lemon, for drizzling  

Preheat the oven to 425°. On a baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once, until golden and tender. 

 

Meanwhile, in a small pan, simmer the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil with the anchovies over moderate heat, stirring, until the anchovies dissolve. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the panko brad crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Transfer the roasted asparagus to a serving platter. Drizzle with lemon juice, top with the panko and serve.  

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Unbelievable flavors coming from this dish!  If it’s just the two of you, like it was for us, take only the amount of asparagus you’d eat and adjust the panko crumb mixture accordingly.  Enjoy!