The other day I tackled #10 on our list of 20 Fun Things to Do this Summer: “visit a city’s Farmers Market and make a feast out of your fresh finds”. I spent the afternoon running errands and my last stop was the grocery store; as luck would have it, the farmers stand nearby was open so I was able to get all of my fresh produce there. I was quickly reminded that summer at the farmers market or vegetable stand is truly a feast for the senses as I smelled the sweet fruit coming ripe, fondled the silky peaches & smooth fresh carrots, marveled at the riot of color, tasted from the sample baskets and listened to the voices of other shoppers comparing prices while excited little voices stage whisper “holy cow mom look at the size of that watermelon!”
And then I came home with two bags crammed full of fruit and veggies that I had to do something with. The yellow pluots (plum + apricot) that I adore weren’t a great price but the flats of raspberries were so they are both going into a crumble. My cucumber loving son is going to love eating his way through the bag of small cukes, and the variety of new greens are going to make a nice light salad to serve with grilled steak one night this week.
But my favorite part was the fresh red peppers, yellow squash, walla walla onions, and heirloom cherry tomatoes that I bought for a mixed veggie grill. I’ve planted a lot of herbs this year and with some recent good weather, they are growing quite nicely. I took sprigs from everything until I had a nice large handful of herbs which I then minced finely. Adding some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and a generous pinch of fresh cracked black pepper, I tossed the chopped veggies with the mixture then wrapped them in foil and put them on a slow BBQ to cook. What came out of that packet 20 minutes later was a plateful of still firm but totally erupting with flavor veggies. Served next to some grilled chicken that I marinated in vinaigrette leftover from a previous Kale Salad, it made for a great and reasonably quick summer meal, that was light, fresh and totally yummy.
Summer Vegetable & Fresh Herb Grill
- A generous handful of mixed herbs, minced. (Parsley, sage, thyme, oregano & chives is what I used but a combination of herbs you like will work.)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 zucchini sliced into half moons (I used yellow because its so pretty)
- 1 pepper (red, yellow, orange, green) chopped into large 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 large or 1 whole small onion, quartered. (I chose a huge Walla Walla onion so I used half)
*Note: mushrooms would work great in this mix, as would Japanese eggplant or sturdy greens like baby bok choy
In a large bowl, combine the herbs, oil, vinegar and salt & pepper. Chop the vegetables and add to the bowl, tossing to combine.
Once vegetables are coated in the herb mixture, take out a length or 2 of tin foil and wrap them in a packet. Place the packet on the BBQ on medium low for 20 minutes. (Depending on your BBQ and your preference they may need to cook a little longer so check them at this point). Serve with grilled chicken.