Holding on to Summer
I guess it technically IS fall at this point, so I shouldn't be surprised that it is feeling a bit more crisp outside and the colors in the trees are changing. Not to mention we have already had a couple of days of snowfall, between some beautifully summer-like temperatures. But I am still craving the last little bits of summer. To me, summer means active time outside warmed by the sun, and evenings of simple meals made on the grill.
September and October are the transition months that we in Tahoe call "Local's Summer." The busyness of the summer crowds have dissipated since schools are back in session, and the snow hasn't started flying yet. The mornings and evenings are cool but mid-day still feels like mid-summer. So before that local's summer also slips from my grasp, I will certainly be grilling a time or two.
One of my favorite easy meals on the grill is a bit of a "choose your own adventure" dinner. We grill up a number of items, lay them all out on a cutting board, and assemble as desired. And since summertime is all about ease, I have included for you a non-recipe recipe.
So before the snow gets whipping too much, pull that grill out for one last taste of summer.
The Last of the Summer Produce: peaches, corn, sweet bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, anything you can still get that reminds you of summer
Chicken, Steak, or Salmon, seasoned with oil, salt and pepper
Crumbled Feta or Blue Cheese
Something Crunchy and Nutty: toasted pepitas, sliced and roasted almonds, even popcorn or tortilla chips!
A Simple Herby Dressing, such as 1 cup chopped fresh herbs, assorted (tarragon, parsley, dill, cilantro, basil, lemon verbena are all great), 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp salt, shaken together in a mason jar.
Grill your produce and protein (make sure chicken reaches 160 when tested internally).
Lay out all ingredients and allow everyone to help themselves as desired.
I recommend using a large bowl or pie pans to build these epic end-of-summer salads.
Would you like more ideas for meal planning? Let me help! Just send me a note, and together we will create the perfect menus for your preferences and lifestyle.