May 2024 Produce Parable

Great Grilling

By Adam Calder, Produce Manager

The smell of hickory smoke; the sound of sizzling steaks; the taste of those dark strips of caramelized sugar seared onto fresh produce after it touches a hot grill; these things combined mean it is the season for back yard grilling!

Our grocery department has got some grilling essentials to get you started. Instead of lighter fluid to start your charcoal grill, you might try some If You Care brand Firestarters. These little cubes of compressed sawdust and vegetable oil are perfect for starting a fire in a grill or a campfire. They are made of 100% biomass (no petro-chemicals), are completely non-toxic , not oily or greasy to the touch and do not produce foul smelling fumes. Just light one on fire, drop it in your grill and pile some charcoal on top and in a few minutes your grill will roar to life.

You may also want to pick up a bag of Woodstock brand 100% Hardwood charcoal. They do not add any filler, lighter fluid or non-hardwoods to the charcoal the result is a cleaner burning fuel that burns hotter than traditional briquettes. If you have never tasted food grilled over hardwood, you will be surprised by the delightfully complex flavors and aromas added to your food.

Once you’ve got your fire good and hot, it’s time to put some food to that fire! No matter what foods you eat or do not eat, Wheatsfield has got you covered. If you enjoy eating meat, then you have got to try some of our house made bratwursts. These bratwursts are freshly made and perfectly seasoned in our meat department, and they go great with some sauerkraut. If you want a really fantastic bratwurst, try grilling a pack of our locally raised and produced Grass Run Farm peppered bacon right next to those bratwursts. Grilled bacon is amazing, so crispy and smoky, if you’ve never tried you really should!

For all you vegetarians and vegans, we have some Beyond brand patties and sausages. These are every bit as tasty and satisfying as their meat-based counterparts, but without any cholesterol or harm to animals. We also have some vegan Field Roast brand grain meat sausage. These sausages taste great, and were made for summer grilling! As they are mainly made of wheat gluten, they tend to stick to a hot grill, so wrap them in aluminum foil before you grill them.

While you’ve got your aluminum out, you may as well make a few packets of produce to throw on the grill. Take a sheet of foil (an 8 inch by 11 inch, about the size of a piece of paper) and in the center of the foil place one or two cups of sliced potatoes, carrots, peppers, onions, zucchini or any other vegetable you want (potatoes and carrots may need to be par-boiled before you grill them to ensure they are cooked all the way through before the rest of the veggies start to burn.) Sprinkle on a little olive oil, some salt and pepper and some chopped fresh herbs, fold up the foil and roll up the edges to make a little packet, and then grill for about 15minutes. Grilling vegetables tends to take longer than most meat, so start the veggies before you start cooking any meat products.

Now it’s time for dessert, and the grill can absolutely help you out here too. If you take a bite of a peach, nectarine or pineapple as they are, they are quite good. Taste that fruit after it has been on a hot grill for a couple of minutes, and get ready for an explosion of great textures and tastes. A grilled

peach takes on a light crispy edge on the outside and on the inside, well, it’s just like having your own smoky little piece of pie! When you grill fruit, the juices inside get all hot and bothered and just can’t wait to come bursting out when you take a bite. If you’ve never had hot grilled peach juice running down your chin, then you have been missing out!

With so many great products to get your grill going, and so much great food to put on top of that grill, what are you waiting for? Summer is fleeting, and such is life, so don’t waste the chance to enrich your life with something as sensual, simple and rewarding as a dinner cooked on the grill. Here are a couple of fun recipes to get you started.

Pesto Grill Sauce

Makes 1 cup, enough for 1 pound sliced vegetables

This marinade is basically a pesto that is thinned out enough to spread onto vegetables with a brush. It is great on summer veggies such as tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant, asparagus, onions, broccoli and even ears of corn!

  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 T. fresh sage (or ¾ tsp. dried sage)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 T. lemon juice

Place the first 5 ingredients into a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds to a minute until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and then the lemon juice, taking another 30 seconds or so to incorporate these liquids. This sauce keeps in refrigerated for 4 days and frozen for 6 months.

Red Eye Glaze

Makes 1 ½ cup, enough for a 3 lb. ham or 1 ½ lbs. of steaks

This is a traditional sauce/marinade used in the southern states. You need to use high quality coffee to make this sauce really stand out.

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup prepared mustard
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup strong coffee
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Raise heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. This sauce keeps for one week in the refrigerator.