Grilling and Roasting your veggies- it’s not just for meat…

Jun 29, 2016 | Blog Article

Welcome to Roasting & Grilling with Village Farms

I think one of my favorite ways to cook is on the BBQ or some type of grill.2015-05-20 11.21.05Certainly at home I can’t wait for the weather to be nice enough to spend my evenings cooking dinner on the BBQ without my raincoat on, but I’d say even half of the restaurants I’ve ever worked in had some form of BBQ, fire-pit or wood grill, and I think it brings a phenomenal added dimension to everything. Usually when you start thinking about barbecue, you think about steaks and burgers and grilled chicken, but it’s a great way to cook your veggies too. That charred bit on the sweet pepper is just something that you can’t replicate any other way…

IMG_2342a neat trick you pick up when you work in kitchens long enough- if you cut your peppers off the core in 3 or 4 even strokes you can leave all the seeds and pith attached to the core and get the maximum flesh off of it-

IMG_1559super clean and fast, and best of all -no pepper seed shrapnel all over your cutting board -that makes me crazy, lol

IMG_1587Grilling these Sweet Bells in particular brings out a great smell and smoky bite to them- I like to use a bit of sharp dry goat cheese to finish them off as either a little tapas / antipasti bite to accompany your BBQ and glass of wine out in the sun, but they also make a great base for a grilled fish or chicken dish, in which case i usually skip a starch, which makes for a light and healthy dish.

IMG_2285for this one, sometimes to spice it up a little, I also toss it in a honey-jalapeno & mint vinaigrette

IMG_2351grilled pepper recipe

I think all kinds of vegetables really come alive on a grill- there’s no substitution for the sweet charred flavor of slightly burnt red onions, or smoky grilled eggplant and cherry tomatoes doused with great olive oil and fresh chopped parsley. I like to do a simple grilled take on a Provençal style ratatouille (I always think of the Provençal style being a little lighter on the tomato and more attention paid the texture to the individual ingredients vs a more stewed version you might find in the south).

IMG_8201I like to marinate each different vegetable in herbed olive oil and grill them individually so each is a perfect “al dente”, cool them down and dress them with a light tomato vinaigrette,

campari 1As you may have seen in the video, I stuffed and roasted some beautiful Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari tomatoes with boursin cheese, but here’s yet another option-

IMG_1847stuffed Campari recipe

they’re great stuffed with the grilled ratatouille as well.

I always tell people that my favorite tomato to put on a grill is the Village Farms Cherry no. 9 tomato- for a lot of good reasons.

2015-05-20 11.22.40For one thing, they’re super well fastened to the vine. They’re “grippy”. Even when they’re beautifully ripe they tend to stick on there until the very end. That’s even more important when you’re handling them on and off a hot grill…

2015-05-20 11.30.18Just as importantly, they roast extremely well because they’re very thick walled and super juicy so they hold up well to charring on the grill and they make a wonderful warm tomato sauce when they’re cut open.         

2015-05-20 11.23.51We also really like grilling big slabs of Village Farms Exquisite Heirlooms or Juicy Beefsteak tomatoes as well, the meaty ones that can hold up to some char without getting breaking down and getting all mushy.

 2015-05-20 11.26.10    2015-05-20 11.30.23

The Cherry no. 9’s do equally well roasted in a hot oven, they get sweeter but it also really brings out their acidity and tartness, and oven roasting is definitely my favorite way to intensify the Cabernet Estate Reserve tomato- they’re already super sweet but when you roast them they get a little deeper and darker and richer –

2015-05-18 14.04.00the roasted juices of these two different tomatoes together served warm with a bit of fresh basil and crostini make an amazing dish out of a fresh ball of burrata or bocconcini cheese,

IMG_8352the sweeter, darker roasted Cabernets and the tangy charred Cherries play out a bit of a sweet and sour combination…

2015-05-18 13.35.53roasted tomato – burrata recipe

This one’s possibly one of my favorite food combinations to have on a patio…

and last but not least, the other huge benefit to roasting in the oven  in the video I showed you how I make that amazing roasted mini San Marzano tomato paste – little tip, I store them in ice cube trays and freeze them for single use…

IMG_6119Heavenly San Marzano paste recipe

a simple way to bring even more depth to any dish

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