Thursday, August 20, 2009

Garden Meals

Aug 17th side dish: I think greek inspired salads are the best, certainly puts a poky lettuce salad to shame. To prepare cut cucumber and tomatoes into chunks, red onion is also a nice addition. Then top with halved kalamata olives, cubed feta and dress with an oil/vinegar vinaigrette.

Aug 19th grilled dinner: Instead of photographing the plate I photographed the grill so I will explain as we go:

I have both a propane grill and a weber charcoal kettle. I must say the kettle is the best in terms of fun and flavor. What's better then starting a fire and cooking over red hot coals right!

Grilled tomatoes. It is best to use a tomato that has just turned color but is still firm. Cut the core out and cut the tomato through the center. Drizzle olive oil on the cut surface and salt. Place cut side down and grill until caramelized and softened. Remove the skin before plating.

Grilled rib steak, just so happens to be my favorite steak! I like my steak kept simple. Before grilling I bring the steaks to room temperature and then apply salt just before grilling. I turn the meat once and grill until they reach medium doneness, rest meat until the juice is reabsorbed and serve. Yum!

The last thing grilled on this particular day was halloumi cheese. If you have not tried halloumi before it is a salty greek cheese that is firm and doesn't melt easily so it can be grilled. It is like cheesy grilled heaven! Definitely worth sourcing. To grill I slice it 1/4" thick, drizzle with olive oil and place on a screaming hot grill. Grill for a couple minutes, turning once.

Aug 20th dinner: Today's dinner was veggie bulgar salad (recipe here), steamed romanesco broccoli (excellent and sweet) and pan caramelized Italian sausage.

Now for my second ever garden cocktail, this time I made Cucumber Collins. Here goes the recipe:

For starters you need cucumber juice. The way I collected the juice was to place a sieve over a bowl and grated cucumber into it. Then press gentle to release the juice. Now per glass:

  • fill with ice
  • add 1/2 cup of cucumber juice
  • juice of 1/4 lime
  • 1 shot Simple Syrup
  • 2+ shots of Gin
  • a few whole blueberries
  • finish off with a cucumber spear for stirring
Is it just me or does it look like that cucumber spear is moving?
maybe it is just the gin...


  1. In my next life, can I come back as your taste buds? Everything looks so good, and I must try those grilled tomatoes!

  2. Save me a plate, I'll be right over !

  3. Your garden meals always look so good. I think you should enjoy a meal with more than just the sense of taste!
    Green Zebra is the very best tomato for grilling in my experience.

  4. I like the Greek inspired salads the best too. It is much better than lettuce. However I go for other cheeses since I'm not a feta fan. That grilled tomato looks really delicious.

  5. Tomato based salads (greek and mexican chop salad versions) are a great summer side dish. We have been enjoying the onset of the slicing tomatoes by regularly enjoying a tomato / onion / cucumber / kalamata salad with garlic infused vinagairette. Pretty much the sames your featured salad only without the feta cheese.

    Everything looks delicious. When's dinner? ;)

  6. Hi, I love your garden. The garden dinner looks like a tasty meal!

  7. Hope your garden faired better then mine after those storms!

  8. www.rockgardenproject.blogspot.comAugust 23, 2009 at 8:51 PM

    Thanks for the Greek salad reminder! We just made the salad for dinner. It's so simple and so good. I was overwhelmed by my garden's abundance of cucumbers right now. It's time to think about those lettuce alternatives. Just when the lettuce has all dwindled in my garden, the cukes are going nuts! It's one of those eating seasonally lessons that I'll remember from now on.