Summer Eats to Beat the Heat

easy summer eating This right here is heaven on a plate to me! Creamy, dreamy Burrata cheese, grilled artichokes, garden fresh tomatoes loaded with fresh basil, a little prosciutto and some grilled crusty bread. This is good eating!

When it’s hot outside this is what we like to eat. The artichokes are the only thing I cooked here, I make them all summer long, they’re so addicting. If you’re an artichoke fan like we are and you prefer a lighter summer version, then this one is for you.

They’re stuffed with romano cheese, parsley, garlic and lemon zest and then placed on the grill until the cheese melts and gets nice and crusty. My Grilled Artichokes is one of my most pinned recipes and it’s so simple to make! You can find it here.

home grown tomatoes Since we have a ton of tomatoes coming in daily from our garden almost every meal includes them, so that’s what this post is about, some of the ways I use them.

juicy garden tomatoeseasy summer eating This was our dinner the other night, roasted peppers, grilled zucchini, asiago cheese, prosciutto, salami, castelvetrano olives and some totally crunchy frezzelle which is the perfect base for our juicy garden tomatoes. I added some apple slices and a glass of wine and we were happy campers!

My husband would take this over a steak any day, we love to eat like this, especially in the hot summer months.

summer panzanella Here’s a salad that’s a meal in itself, garden tomatoes, fresh basil, olives, onions, grilled zucchini  and chunks of crispy bread doused with olive oil and grilled, sort of like a panzanella, although a true panzanella  requires you to wet the bread, I prefer mine crispier.

summer panzanella The dressing is made with a simple olive oil and red wine vinegar but the magic happens when everything gets tossed together and all the flavors meld into one. The tomatoes can either make or break this dish so be sure to take advantage of all that summer offers.

No recipes today just visuals of some of my favorite summer eating!

 

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Grilled Vegetable Skewers

grilled vegetable skewersGrilling vegetables is nothing new but when you put them together on a skewer they transform into an eye-catching little side dish! Who could resist all those colors and combinations? They look so pretty on a platter and a little goes a long way!

I cut up all my veggies first and place them into a big bowl tossing them in a generous amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever herbs I feel like using, either dried or fresh.

The more color the better, red onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, multi colored peppers of red, yellow, orange and green. I like to use a Japanese eggplant when making these because it slices into nice rounds for skewering. I also added crimini mushrooms and small red potatoes into the mix. Try to keep all the slices the same size around 1 1/2 inches so everything cooks at the same pace.

grilling vegetables Assemble them in any order that appeals to you, you can get very creative with all the different colors. I parboil the potatoes just a little ahead of time so they won’t take so long to cook on the grill. Cook on a medium turning often until slightly charred and cooked through.vegetable skewersVeggie skewers are the perfect option for entertaining because you can assemble all your skewers way ahead of time, even the night before. Refrigerate until you’re ready to throw them on the grill.

grilled artichokes Of course at my house we always make extra room on the grill for my stuffed grilled artichokes, I make them pretty regularly in the summer, so easy, so good!grilled shrimp I served my veggie skewers with grilled shrimp that I marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh parsley. I love those flat wooden skewers, the shrimp doesn’t move and flip around when turning, everything stays in place.shrimp skewers A touch of grilled lemon squeezed over the top was the perfect finish to the shrimp. The finishing touch on my veggie skewers will always be this, what can I say, they just go hand in hand!

Fire up your grill and make this colorful and healthy meal for your next cookout!

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The Thrill of the Grill!

I made this fish yesterday, it was 98 degrees out and my oven wasn’t going on. It’s so quick to put together, it cooks up fast and the taste? Well, you’ll just have to try it, all I can say is that you won’t be disappointed!

I take a shallow baking sheet and wrap the top and bottom with tin foil. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom, and add thinly sliced garlic on the top. Place your fish fillets over the sliced garlic, I used tilapia.
Season your fish with salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of paprika for color. Toss in some fresh herbs, I used parsley and basil. Add sliced cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives and a small handful of capers. Scatter a few lemon slices around and add some of the juice. Finish off by drizzling olive oil all over.
Place the pan on a hot grill and close the lid. The smell is intoxicating as the garlic starts cooking and infuses the fish. When your fish is firm to the touch, it’s done! This is great for a crowd, you can even use shrimp and a 1/2 sheet pan for more space. For my 4 fillets I just used a 1/4 sheet pan.
The flavors all blend together leaving an exceptional taste!
Straight from the farmers market, fresh asparagus and sweet knobby onions. ( that’s what I call them.) You got to have some veggies on the side!
When I see pretty artichokes I can’t resist them, I love them grilled and I often make them throughout the summer, a great way to start out your meal!

Basically I trim and quarter my artichokes and slowly boil them until tender. I let them cool completely down, then I pull out the choke and prickly leaves. Place the quartered artichokes in a bowl, drizzle olive oil all over, place grated romano cheese between the leaves along with salt, pepper, finely chopped garlic and fresh parsley. Place them on a hot grill turning them over until the cheese gets crusty and garlic cooks, it just takes a few minutes.

So good!
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Grilled Baby Artichokes with Tomato Basil Salsa

I struck gold when I came across a huge pile of baby artichokes at my Italian market this Saturday and they were even on sale, I couldn’t wait to get them home and put them on my grill!

Baby artichokes are easy to prep and great for grilling, they’re the perfect light appetizer for a hot and sticky day. The most important thing is to precook them in boiling water or steam them first until tender, you don’t want to just toss them on the grill before cooking they’ll be very tough, burnt and unappetizing and they’ll never get tender.

The grill adds a nice smoky flavor that enhances the taste and the tomato basil salsa gives you a fresh and summery dipping sauce, guilt free nice and light and perfect served at room temperature.


Here’s what you do:
Slice tops off artichokes, pull off leaves until you see pale green, trim stems, and snip off thorny tips. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the juice of 1 lemon, garlic cloves and artichokes; cover and steam until artichoke bottoms pierce easily, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain artichokes.
When cool enough to handle, cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scrape out the fuzzy center, sometimes you don’t even have to with the babies. In a bowl, combine crushed garlic, olive oil, you could also add balsamic vinegar if you want, and salt and pepper. Toss your artichokes in the mixture and place cut side down on a grill over medium heat, don’t move them until you see nice grill marks, then turn on the other side until lightly browned.
Tomato Basil Salsa
Chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil
Chopped scallions
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Place the arichokes cut side up on a big platter and spoon the salsa all over. Now go ahead and make these before summers bounty is all over!
Buon Appetito
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GRILLED ARTICHOKES WITH LEMON AIOLI!

I confess… I’m an artichoke lover! In fact my whole family is, we can’t resist them in any way shape or form!

Give us a pan of stuffed artichokes and we are all smiles, as we sit around the table scraping each leaf working are way down to the “heart”, by the time we are finished we each have a pile of scraped and discarded leaves on our plates! Now that’s some good eating!!
But now that it’s BBQ season we enjoy eating them grilled just as much. I think the hardest thing about cooking artichokes is the prep, to prepare them for the grill you have to cut the top off,discard some outer leaves and trim up the remaining ones.

You’ll want to cut them in quarters, and remove any fuzzy center and pull out all pointy and scratchy leaves. Immediately after cutting immerse them in lemon water until ready to cook.
Place them in a pot of salted water and cook till tender.

Drain well, and gently squeeze out excess water, set aside in a bowl.

A couple of hours before they are ready to be grilled, toss them in some extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic, salt and pepper.

The lemon aioli is whipped up very quickly with a good store bought mayonnaise, a little crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice, along with the rind, and salt and pepper to taste. Just make sure the consistency is good for dipping.

I actually like to grill these in my indoor grill pan, I feel have more control because they are a little fragile, and besides the marinade flavor seems to not burn off. But you absolutely can put them on your grill outside, just make sure your grill is super clean, you don’t want to take on any other flavors.
These are great appetizers to start off a meal, or to have as a nice side dish.

And last but not least, I want to thank my Florida house guests that were staying with us a couple of weeks ago, they gave me this beautiful blue oval platter ( for my blog!!) I don’t think the picture does it justice you can’t see how huge it is! I thought the green artichokes would look nice on it, what do you think?
Anyway, thanks again, Angie and Pat, Diane, Donny, and of course Lindsey and Lauren.

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