BY DEBRA J. MORRIS
Ah, the wonderful smell of freshly-mowed grass, the sound of children running through the sprinklers, the garden awash in color with summer flowers, and the mouth-watering smell of food grilling on the barbecue. Yes, summer is here with warm evenings spent outside, and friends coming over for good conversation and an evening meal on the patio. Let’s get grillin’!
Here’s to the all-American summer pastime—grilling and barbecuing. The weather is perfect for fresh summer fruits and vegetables like yellow and green summer squash, bell peppers, and juicy peaches and nectarines to be added to your grilled recipes.
Toss some sliced zucchini and thick slabs of eggplant on the grill; or drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and grill; or cut in chunks and slide onto a skewer for veggie kabobs. Marinated or not, the natural flavors of the produce are enhanced by grilling—peaches and nectarines become sweeter, zucchini and tomatoes become more savory.
You don’t need much seasoning, either. Salt and pepper and a little olive oil are great for vegetables, or a bit of brown sugar for fruit—or grill with no seasoning at all. The natural flavors of locally-grown fruits and vegetables will shine through !
Stop by the Martinez Farmers’ Market and visit our new vendors like Ken’s Top Notch from Reedley with wonderful stone fruit like peaches and nectarines. Check out Gusman Farm as well with lovely peppers and other fruits and vegetables.
J&J Ramos Farms and Resendiz Farms, both from Hughson, for sweet apricots, peaches and nectarines. Pick up zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and potatoes at J&M Farms from Gilroy. Get your grass-fed beef from Alhambra Valley Beef, who raise their cattle here in Martinez. You can’t find better products than at your local farmers’ market. They have varieties of produce you won’t find at the grocery store – and you’re assured they grow what they sell.
Quick Grilled Veggie Packets
1 large onion, cut in chunks
1 cup bell peppers, cut in chunks
1 Russet potato, cut in chunks, skin left on
1 yellow squash, sliced (or zucchini)
Place all sliced vegetables in a bowl, toss with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. Place in the center of a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold foil around the vegetables to form a sealed packet, either by twisting to make a “topknot” or folding around it. Place on the grill over indirect heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Recipe: Debra Morris, PCFMA
Here’s to good summer eatin’ fresh from your Martinez Farmers’ Market. Remember to buy fresh and buy local!