I thought about calling this post “The Creme Brûlée that Wasn’t”. All week Kate and I been planning the Friday night usage of our kitchen butane touches, Kate wanted to torch tomatoes and peppers, and I was eyeing a raspberry basil custard brûlée recipe. Friday morning I realized that the torches may not have come with the butane attachment, so I did some searching on where I could find one (aside from ordering a 12 pack on Amazon) and was left disappointed. So instead of torching everything we ate last night, we went with the more pedestrian option of grilling.
Josh and I love fresh sweet potatoes in any form (not canned, that’s a whole other story and I don’t approve), so grilled sweet potato discs were an easy hit, especially topped with a little basil lime glaze (I had a lot of basil that was originally planned for the brûlées). The grilled caesar salad took a little more convincing, Josh and Kate were both wary of “hot lettuce”, but they ended up liking it more than they were expecting. The dressing was a hit, something I’ll make again for regular cold romaine salads. Finally, we threw nectarine halves on the grill as we enjoyed the main course (grilled chicken, which somehow didn’t make it into a pic), and then served them with a dollop honey mascarpone, a drizzle of sweetened reduced balsamic, and adorned with, you guessed it, more basil :). So wonderful. I could eat honey mascarpone with a spoon (actually Kate and I did, after the peaches had all been topped). And if you’ve never tried grilling stone fruits, I would highly recommend it. Especially when served al fresco on a July summer evening.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon of lime zest
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Pinch of salt
1 Prepare your grill for hot, direct heat. While the grill is heating up, peel the sweet potatoes and slice lengthwise, or on a diagonal, into 1/4 inch-thick pieces. Coat the sweet potato slices with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with Kosher salt.
2 Combine all of the dressing ingredients into a small bowl.
3 Once the grill is hot, lay the sweet potato pieces down onto the grill grates. Cover the grill and cook until each side gets some grill marks, between 3-6 minutes for each side, depending on how hot your grill is.
4 Toss the sweet potatoes in a bowl with the dressing and serve hot.
Grilled Romaine Salads
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- Olive Oil
- Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut the 2 heads in half lengthwise. Brush surface with olive oil and grill about 4 to 5 minutes total, turning occasionally. Place each wedge on a salad plate and drizzle with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette or your favorite Caesar dressing. With a vegetable peeler, shave some pieces from a wedge of Reggiano-Parmigiano over each salad and serve.
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
Place all ingredients in a pint jar with a lid. Secure the lid, then shake to blend. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Grilled Nectarines with Mascarpone and Balsamic
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c mascarpone
2 large nectarines
basil to garnish :)
1. Grill the fruit with the cut side down until soft, about 5-10 minutes.
2. Simmer the balsamic vinegar and honey until it thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Mix the mascarpone and honey.
4. Serve the grilled nectarines with topped with the mascarpone and the balsamic syrup.