Grilled Eggplant with Basil Pesto and Pasta

Grilled Eggplant with Basil Pesto and Pasta

Getting the most we can out of the remaining vegetable season with our abundance of basil and eggplant. Sliced thin and grilled, we added our eggplant to this delicious blender-made basil pesto sauce and pasta.

Basil Pesto
4 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Add the pine nuts and garlic to a high-speed blender. Top with the basil leaves and process until very finely minced. With the machine running slowly add the oil and process until the mixture is smooth. Add the cheese and process just long enough to combine. Set aside.

Grilled Eggplant
2 medium eggplants
Kosher salt for sprinkling
1/3 cup olive oil

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal.
Lay the slices on a large baking sheet. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on the grill. Carefully brush the top sides of the slices with oil and sprinkle them with salt. Close the grill and cook for 5 minutes or until grill marks strongly appear.
Open the grill and turn the slices over, close the lid of the grill again, and cook until grill marks appear on the other side and the eggplant is very tender; about 5 more minutes.
Remove, cover and keep warm.

Assemble the dish
One pound Pasta
Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Following the package directions, cook the pasta. Strain and add back to the pot. Stir in the basil pesto to coat the pasta. Serve warm in bowls topped with the grilled eggplant and topped with grated fresh parmesan cheese.

Sous Vide Salmon, Baked Corn & Cheese Grits with Caper Sauce

Sous Vide Salmon, Baked Corn & Cheese Grits with Caper Sauce

A sweet summer corn cheese grit casserole goes perfect with buttery sous vide salmon with crispy-seared skin. We topped the dish off with a tangy caper, baby cherry tomato and fresh corn sauce.

Cheese Grits & Fresh Corn
2 cups Half and Half
2 cups water
1 cup quick-cooking grits
2 cups fresh corn slice off the cob
1 ¼ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large egg
½ teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375ºF. Lightly coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
Add the water and Half and Half to a 3-qt saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat, then stir in corn, 1 cup cheese, egg, and salt. Pour into prepared dish. Bake, uncovered, 15
minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1⁄4 cup cheese and bake 15 minutes more until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Caper Sauce
¼ cup fresh chives cut in ½” pieces
Lemon zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons capers
¼ cup baby cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh corn, cut from the cob

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Sous vide Salmon
4 pieces of salmon
Olive oil

Heat the immersion circulator in the water bath to 130˚F. Add a salmon piece with a light coating of olive oil to sous vide bags. Top with a light sprinkle of salt and vacuum to seal. Place in the water bath and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the bag and dry the salmon.
To sear, heat up a thin layer of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add salmon skin side down, gently pressing on it with a fish spatula so it makes good contact with the pan. Sear until the skin is browned and crisp, about a 1 1/2 minutes.

To Serve
Place a scoop of the grits to a plate. Lay the salmon over the grits and top with the Caper Sauce.

Grilled Baby Eggplant Halves With Fresh Mozzarella, Grilled Cherry Tomatoes,  and Oregano

Grilled Baby Eggplant Halves With Fresh Mozzarella, Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, and Oregano

It can never be too hot for gooey cheese, grilled eggplant, and tomatoes. This easy recipe uses a handful of ingredients, takes minutes to make, and delivers big on flavor. Grilled baby eggplant halves are topped with fresh mozzarella, grilled cherry tomatoes, and fresh oregano. Serve as a side dish or make it a meatless meal.

3 baby eggplants, cut in half, lengthwise through the stem and bottom
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided plus more for the grill
Kosher Salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon powdered garlic
4 ounces of cherry tomatoes
½ pound of fresh mozzarella, torn in half
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine, or 1 teaspoon dried
Balsamic vinegar, if desired
6 skewers, metal, or wooden soaked

Heat a grill or grill pan to hot. Brush the eggplant on both sides with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the cut sides with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of powdered garlic. Set aside.

Toss the cherry tomatoes in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Divide the tomatoes evenly on 6 skewers.

Lightly oil the grates of the grill or grill pan with a paper towel soaked in olive oil. Place the eggplant, cut side down, and cherry tomatoes on the grill in a hot spot. Grill the cherry tomatoes, frequently turning, until they are marked and just starting to wilt about 2-4 minutes.

Remove and set aside. Turn the eggplant over after the cut side is browned and lightly charred.

Move the eggplant to a cooler area on the grill, sprinkle with salt, and cover the eggplant with the grill cover or foil, and continue cooking until a small knife can easily pass through the eggplant, about 5-8 minutes more.

When cooked through, top the eggplant halves evenly with the cheese, then cover the grill or grill pan to melt the cheese. Remove to a platter and top with the grilled cherry tomatoes, fresh oregano and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired. Makes 6 servings

Charred Broccoli With Buttermilk Parmesan Grits

Charred Broccoli With Buttermilk Parmesan Grits

Grits aren’t just for breakfast! We love freshly Charred Broccoli served over Buttermilk Parmesan Grits as the perfect summer dinner when served with any grilled meat. You can even cook both the meat and the broccoli on the grill together, then keep warm when you make the grits.

Charred Broccoli
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 heads of broccoli stems peeled and sliced lengthwise into thick steaks
1/2 cup water
½ teaspoon garlic powder chopped
Pinch of Aleppo Pepper
Salt and freshly ground

In a large, cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the broccoli, cut side down, pressing down, and cook over moderate heat until richly browned on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Turn-over and brown the other side. Add the water, cover, and cook until the broccoli is just tender and the water has completely evaporated. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with the garlic and the pepper and cook uncovered about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, then cover and keep warm.

Buttermilk Parmesan Grits
4 cups water
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bring 4 cups water, 1 cup whole milk, and 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Gradually whisk in 1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until creamy and thickened about 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the buttermilk, parmesan cheese, and butter. Cook until thick, then cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

To Serve:
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Aleppo Pepper

Ladle the grits onto a plate. Top grits with the Charred Broccoli, a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan Cheese, and a pinch of Aleppo pepper; serve with your favorite grilled meat.

Shrimp With Garlic Scape Pesto, Tomatoes, Pine Nuts And Parmesan Cheese

Shrimp With Garlic Scape Pesto, Tomatoes, Pine Nuts And Parmesan Cheese

Garlic scapes are one of our seasonal favorites. Made into a Pesto, we tossed it with warm pasta, pan-seared shrimp, tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, sliced into 1” pieces
1 cup toasted pine nuts, divided
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup basil leaves
Juice of one medium lemon
Salt to taste
Pasta, of choice
Grape tomatoes
Shredded parmesan cheese

Seared shrimp
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, and deveined
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoons coarse salt
pinch freshly ground pepper

Load in a high-speed blender the garlic scapes, ½ cup toasted pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and basil leaves process until smooth. Add salt to taste. Scrape down the sides of the blender so everything is incorporated. Set aside.

Prepare the pasta according to package directions.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and heat until oil is hot. Arrange a single layer of shrimp in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until underside is golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds. Turn over, and continue cooking until other side is golden brown and shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute.

Combine the warm pasta with shrimp and pesto. Top with the remaining pine nuts, grape tomatoes, and shredded parmesan cheese.

Tomato Jam, Red Onion, and Speck Grilled Pizza

Tomato Jam, Red Onion, and Speck Grilled Pizza

Summer grilling is easy with this tasty Tomato Jam, Red Onion, and Speck Pizza! A fun treat to make, be sure to have all your toppings ready to go by the grill and this pizza will come together quickly when you make it grill-side.

½ pound pizza dough, freshly made or store purchase
Flour for rolling the dough
Olive oil for the grates
½ cup Tomato Jam, jarred or homemade (recipe to follow)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
7-8 slices thinly sliced speck or Prosciutto ham
½ red onion, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves

Heat a grill to high heat. Roll or stretch the pizza dough out into a square or circle and place on the back side of a lightly flour sheet tray. Carefully brush the grill grates with olive oil. Slide the dough off the sheet tray and on to the oiled grates. Cook until the dough is lightly browned and well-marked with grill lines. Turn-over and cook the dough for just for 2-3 minutes more.
Remove and place on the back of the sheet tray with the well-marked side up.
Spread the tomato jam over the pizza, leaving a border. Top with the cheese, then slices of Speck, red onion and oregano staying inside the border. Slide off the sheet tray and back on the grill, close the lid and cook until the pizza bottom is lightly browned and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cool for 5-10 minutes, place on a cutting board and serve.

Roasted Tomato Jam
2 pounds Campari or any small sweet tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Over a bowl, cut the tomatoes in half; using a spoon or your fingers, remove the seeds into the bowl, reserving the tomato water and seeds. Try to remove as many seeds as possible. Place the tomato halves in another bowl and toss with the salt. Oil a sheet pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place the tomatoes, skin side down, on the baking sheet and then in the oven; roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Strain the tomato seeds and water through a fine mesh strainer; press hard on the seeds to remove as much water as possible. Reserve the tomato water and discard the seeds. You should have about ½ cup of tomato water.
Slide the skins off the roasted tomatoes and add the remaining tomato pulp to a large saucepan; discard the skins. Add the tomato water and the remaining ingredients. Bring the tomato mixture to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours until the jam is thick and sweet. Cool to room temperature. Store the jam in a tightly closed jar or container in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 -1 ½ cups of tomato jam.