Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On the Grill: Roasted Potatoes and Summer Squash

Found at Trader Joe's: Local tri-color potatoes
Found at the Coop: A panoply of summer squash, in season and on sale (zucchini and yellow, but also gray, pattypan, and a round, zucchini-like hybrid apparently called eight ball squash), portobello mushrooms, fresh garlic*

*Apparently, garlic comes from a plant. This may not have occurred to you, if, like me, you had never actually seen, felt, or tasted garlic that wasn't at least a week old. That hard, papery, tough wrapper was once soft and translucent and plantlike, almost moist, and the cloves inside were so fresh that the juice splattered when you pressed them. They taste better, too (garlicky in a crisp, clean kind of way, and less strong than their aged counterparts). Worth finding at a coop or farmer's market.

Assorted summer squash, cut lengthwise (for oblong squashes, like zucchini) or crosswise (for round squashes, like pattypan or eight ball) into half-inch thick slices. Try to avoid the smallest pattypans, which might be easy to lose in the grill.
Portobello mushrooms, stemmed and left whole, or any other vegetable that strikes your grilling fancy
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Assorted small to medium potatoes (yellow, red, and/or purple), whole if small and halved if medium
5-6 more garlic cloves, not peeled
Sprigs of fresh herbs (e.g., oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary)

A little meat, as a side dish rather than the main course (e.g., local lamb andouille sausages)

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add potatoes, and boil until just soft (a fork should go in fairly easily, but they shouldn't be mushy). Drain in a colander, rinse briefly with cool water, and leave in sink to dry off.

Press 2 cloves of garlic into a small bowl and mix with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Brush lightly onto summer squash and mushrooms, and set aside. (If you have fresh thyme, you might chop some and rub it onto the mushrooms with some salt and pepper.)

Preheat the grill.

Brush a large piece of foil with a little olive oil, pour the potatoes onto it, and then brush the rest of them with a little more olive oil (or toss them with olive oil in a separate bowl, depending on the lengths you will go to in order to avoid having to clean an extra dish). Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and sprigs of herbs, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and close up the foil.

Set the potatoes on the grill for 10-2o minutes, depending on how much time you have and how roasty-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside you like them to be. Grill the vegetables and the sausages, and serve. (Note that you can eat the garlic cloves -- they will be all sweet and mushy and should come right out of their skin with a knife and fork -- and the herbs, for that matter.)

If you cook extra potatoes and veggies, lunch the next day is easy:
Heat the potatoes on a plate in the microwave for a minute or two, sprinkle with a little crumbled feta or cheddar, and heat a little more. Serve with leftover grilled summer squash (cold or also heated).

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