Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summery side dishes

Growing up, my family taught me that a proper meal was not "complete" if it did not come with vegetables and either rice, potatoes or pasta. Although I still tend to follow that rule, in the summer I just can't do it. It is partly due to the fact that there are so many fresh options out there and also because I feel it is just too darn hot to cook! Instead, I'll tend to serve a grilled vegetable and a salad.

Given that June is the month for asparagus, last week I decided to barbecue them. Now I know that I read about the technique shown below somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember where (I guess that's what happens when you just look at too many blogs and magazines!) if you've seen it somewhere let me know, I'd love to give someone the credit for this!

I also decided to prepare a tomato, watermelon and feta salad which was extremely refreshing and tasty (I'm definitely going to make that one again!). The sweetnest of the watermelon, combine with the creamy texture and the salty taste of the feta, the crunchiness of the cherry tomatoes and the acidity of the vinegar made it a great combo. It might not seem like a whole lot of vinegar for the dressing, but with the juices of the tomatoes and of the watermelon it is plenty!

Enjoy the recipes and the warm weather (finally!)!

Tomato, Watermelon and Feta Salad

3 cups cubed watermelon
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
½ - 2/3 cup (depending on how much you enjoy feta!) crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine watermelon, tomatoes and feta in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Chill for up to 4 hours.

Just before serving, transfer to a serving bowl, draining off excess juice. Sprinkle with basil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine.

Serves 4

Grilled asparagus with Parmesan

8 – 10 asparagus
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic pepper to taste

Pre-heat the barbecue to medium heat.

Poke 2 holes through your asparagus (one near the top, the other near the bottom) using a wooden kebab stick.

Once all your asparagus are together, lightly brush them with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on them.

Place the “kebab” on the barbecue and cook at medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until they look like this:

Once the asparagus are ready, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately

Serves 2

I served these two side dishes with a nice steak. It was a perfect match!
Bon app├ętit!

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