Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Stand by your farm stand

  • A cornucopia of fresh produce from a farm stand. FOR THE GAZETTE/LOU GROCCIA

Published: 8/24/2019 12:02:23 AM
Modified: 8/24/2019 12:02:09 AM

Take a look at the picture I have provided this week and you will understand why local farm stands are among the many joys of summer.

Everything in the picture came home with me from my latest farm stand visit. And that doesn’t even include the six ears of corn I just had to get.

At first, I was considering doing all sorts of things with the cornucopia: stuffed sweet red peppers, pickled cucumbers, stuffed tomatoes, Thai-inspired Japanese eggplants, zucchini parmesan, a blooming onion (which weighed 1.5 pounds by the way).

But once that fever had passed, I read about making a platter of grilled vegetables that is served with a sauce.

What I liked about this approach to grilling vegetables is that you time the different veggies on the grill after lightly dousing them with olive oil and salt and pepper. Usually, I crank up my large charcoal grill for proteins like hamburgers or steaks and treat any veggies as an afterthought on the grill — which has usually meant the veggies come out way overcooked.

Taking care and treating the veggies as the main reason for grilling allowed me to carefully cook them just until they were cooked but still slightly crunchy and nicely charred.

It also helps that I can raise and lower the charcoal grate in my grill.

The zucchini and eggplants were sliced lengthwise, the onion in thick rings, the red peppers sliced open and scraped of seeds and veins, the tomatoes cut in half lengthwise and squeezed over the sink to get rid of the seeds.

In case you were wondering, I didn’t grill the cukes. I saved those for salad.

I served the platter with a sour cream, lime juice and mint sauce. A tahini and lemon juice sauce would also work just fine.

Along with some basmati rice, the grilled veggies and sauce were a revelation. Also threw in a few shrimp and scallops for protein.

With the leftovers, of course, I will make vegetable fried rice. I might sneak in some pieces of grilled, country-style pork spare ribs. But I won’t call it pork fried rice, which we all know is the gold standard of fried rice.

See you at the farm stand.

—LOU 

I would say get thee to the farm stand! Now! Not to be a Debbie Downer, but summer is waning. I make a visit to a farm stand about every other day this time of year.

Last night I grilled veggies the easy way, all cubed up, coated with olive oil, a splash of balsamic and into the grill pan. No muss, no fuss, no sauce. And they don’t fall through the grates.

That reminds me, I should go get that pan off the grill and wash it so it will be ready for the next time.

—LUCY




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