Grilling season is in full swing, but the same old menu of burgers, hot dogs and macaroni salad could use some fresh ingredients and ideas. Whether you have a home garden or a local farmers' market, summer brings an abundance of fruits and vegetables that are prime for grilling. In celebration of its 70th anniversary year, Organic Gardening magazine is keeping the season festive with recipes that take the garden to the grill.
Produce is the tastiest and most nutrient-dense when it is in-season, and it can be more affordable too. Grilling brings out the flavors and juices in fruits and vegetables: corn and zucchini take on a delicious, smoky flavor and the natural sugars in peaches and pineapple caramelize to perfection. Not sure where to begin? Organic Gardening's Consulting Food and Wine Editor Victoria von Biel offers the following tips for a more flavorful grilling season:
Start craving those veggies:
-- Keep temperatures low and the lid closed for veggie grilling success -- Forgo the pot: toss corn on the grill for tasty, smoky flavor; dress it up Mexican-style with some spiced mayo and cheese -- Juicy, meaty, marinated Portobello mushroom burgers please meat lovers and vegetarians alike -- Tired of losing sliced onions in the flames? Pick up an affordable grill basket- they are great for delicate fish fillets, too -- Don't be afraid to experiment: grilled romaine makes a fabulous Caesar salad!
Find hot new ways to enjoy fresh fruit:
-- Make sure your grill is nice and clean; you don't want your pineapple to taste like last night's salmon! -- Fruit should be firm, and not overripe for the best results -- Brush fruit with butter or a bit of oil to prevent sticking -- In-season stone fruits like peaches grill to pie-like perfection; serve with ice cream or fresh whipped cream -- Surprise guests by tossing those watermelon slices on the BBQ and squeeze some lightly grilled lime wedges on top -- Dessert is not the limit: try grilled pineapple on a burger, or grilled plums in a salad!
-- Expand the menu with simple, produce-driven sauces and salsas that splash flavor on fish, steaks and chicken -- Zesty salsa verde made from garden-fresh herbs like cilantro, basil and mint takes just minutes to whip up and is perfect on almost everything: chicken, fish, steak, and grilled veggies. -- Sweet fruity salsas can be balanced with spicy hot peppers, garlic or onions
Recipes, tips and other seasonally smart ideas can be found at www.organicgardening.com
If you follow my blog, then you know I read cookbooks like are novels. And, the same goes for cooking or food magazines. So, when I recently saw the above video, I had to reach out to Rodale and see if they would be so kind to send along a few samples of their magazine, Organic Gardening. I was sent the first four issues for 2012, and couldn't have been happier. They arrived the day before we were leaving for a week's vacation to celebrate Savannah's birthday.
Hoping the girls would sleep on the way up, I snuck the magazines into my bag, and planned to read through them while my husband drove the 3 hours to NH. Unfortunately, the girls didn't fall asleep until halfway through the drive. But, I was able to get 2 of the magazines read cover to cover by the time we arrived at my parents summer home. You should have seen the magazines. It looked like I had half the pages folded, as they either contained useful advice I wanted to try with my gardening, or a recipe that looked tasty and easy to make. During the rest of the vacation, I was able to finish reading the two other issues of Organic Gardening, and like the two previous issues, had it all marked up, so I could try things when I arrived home.
My mother is also a fan of cookbooks and foodie magazines -- guess there is where I got my love of cookbooks and cooking from -- so, I let her read through the magazines. She had seen this magazine in the supermarket, but never had a chance to pick up a copy. By the time she was done reading through the first issue, she had the mail-in subscription card ripped out and completed. Based on what she read, she didn't want to miss another issue of this amazing magazine. We both agreed that the content regarding organic gardening and foods was top notch, and the photos were crisp and engaging. Some magazines you find yourself skimming through the pages. But, not with this magazine. You will enjoy reading it cover to cover. I dare you to try and finish reading it, without folding down pages or marking it up, so you can try out recipes or other ideas/tips.
Now that my mother is a subscriber to Organic Gardening, I will definitely be asking to read each new issue. And, since returning home from vacation, I have had a chance to try out some of the recipes, and boy were they delicious. We especially loved the berry muffins, which we used freshly picked blueberries and raspberries from our garden.
So, if you love to garden, or enjoy reading food-related magazines, then you will love Organic Gardening. Make sure you look for it the next time you are at the market.
Follow Organic Gardening on Twitter @OGMag and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OrganicGardening. Organic Gardening is also available on the iPad.
About Organic Gardening (www.organicgardening.com)
Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2012, Rodale's Organic Gardening is the leading magazine resource for an organic approach to home, food, and garden. With the mission of "living lightly from the ground up," the magazine empowers readers to lead simpler, healthier lives by making positive connections with the world through gardening. Featuring fresh ideas for home-cooked meals, accessible tips, tools, and tricks for gardeners of all skill levels, and gorgeous photography that inspires, Organic Gardening helps readers garden to truly live their whole lives.
Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. The views above are mine and mine alone