Veggin’ Out in Surf City!

By Guest Blogger: Erika Reardon of Erika’s Catering

Summer is here and the food preparation and feasting is moving outside!  “Al Fresco” as it is called.  The grill is calling out to be used.  While team “Meat” usually takes the lead here, instead consider humble vegetables!

Today people are returning to the home vegetable garden and shopping at local farmer’s markets.  Huntington Beach has an ample supply of vegetable shopping opportunities.  There are currently two farmer’s markets in town, Surf City Nights, Tuesdays on Main Street and the Friday market at Pier Plaza.  These boast local and seasonal produce at good prices.  Or try one of the many boutique style markets in town.  Famer’s Harvest, Trader Joe’s, Farm Boy or Sprouts for starters.  And HB will get a Whole Foods soon to open at Bella Terra this fall.

Try grilling your favorite mix. Simply cut and toss in olive oil with a little salt and pepper, then on the grill.  As Bobby Flay from the Food Network says often, “If the vegetables keep falling onto the coals, don’t cut them so small”.

How about kebobs?  Kids of all ages love food on a stick.  Pre-soak your wooden skewers in apple juice for better flavor and to stop them from burning while on the grill.  Get the kids to help here and they are more likely to eat their veggies.

Try a grilled salad.  Again choose your freshest vegetables and grill.  Then toss them with a balsamic vinaigrette.  Add a few fresh herbs on top and serve with crusty bread.  You almost do not need the meat!

Now is your chance to try something new…  shop your markets and pick up something exotic…  you might like it!  For more inspiration on cooking with vegetables try these cookbooks!

Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce by Cathy Thomas

How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey

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