Tag Archives: grill

the great indoors: zucchini with mint and red pepper

11 Aug

While running on Lake Street this evening, I passed by a couple tending to their petite sidewalk garden. The white-haired man wore a khaki vest with too many pockets and posed quite contently with a hose in-hand over his trough of flowers.

It reminded me of my grandpa and how he’d spend hours every afternoon watering the yard — the front yard, the back yard, the court yard, the orchids, the vegetables, the strawberries, the ferns, the protea, the bonsais, the cacti, even the ditch (an old irrigation ditch we grew marigolds in). I never thought of it as odd, but that was a serious amount of time spent on plants!

How much time do I spend on plants? Only as long as it takes me to cook them. Someday when I live in a city that actually experiences summer, I will have a garden and spend ridiculous hours tending to my plants. Until then, I will celebrate summer from the great indoors.

zucchini with mint and red pepper
grill pan makin’ it happen… real grill, even better!

* 5 medium-sized zucchini
* 1/2 cup olive oil, divided in half
* 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* a dozen large mint leaves, finely sliced
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like)
* salt & pepper

Preheat your grill to medium.

Cut each zucchini in half crosswise and then cut each half into 1/8″ planks. In a very large bowl, toss the zucchini with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Lay the zucchini on the grill and cook for about four minutes per side, keeping the heat moderate so you’re sweating them and not really giving them a ton of color. Turn the heat up to high and grill for about a minute more on each side to mark them. Depending on the size of your grill, this may need to be done in batches.

Remove the zucchini to a large platter. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil with the vinegar, mint and red pepper flakes. Drizzle this over the zucchini, being sure to evenly distribute the pepper flakes, sprinkle with salt & pepper.

modern cartography

6 Jul

One of my nerdy pleasures of late has been building custom Google Maps for summer trips. Call it anal, but I appreciate knowing exactly where I’m going from hotels to bakeries to hiking spots. Moreover, who would visit a place like Portland, Maine without mapping the twenty best restaurants in town?

Memorial Day Weekend Maine Food and Hiking tour. I love the customizable location icons — fork and knife for food, backpackers for hiking, plus you can include driving directions from one place to the next.

Favorite meal of the trip? Besides dinner from the farm at Primo in Rockland, our best home-cooked feast included grilled Maine lobsters purchased live from Three Sons Lobster & Fish, sweet summer corn, and a sour cherry pie from Two Fat Cats Bakery for dessert.

Grilled Maine Lobster

* 4 live lobsters (1 – 2 lbs each)
* 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
* 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
* 2 teaspoons minced chives
* Sea salt and pepper
* Lemon wedges, for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Generously salt boiling water and return to a boil. Plunge lobsters headfirst into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes; immediately transfer to ice-water bath to cool.

Meanwhile, light charcoal grill. In a small bowl, mix together butter, parsley, chives, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.

With a large knife, cut cooled lobsters in half lengthwise. Place cut side up and brush cut side with butter mixture.

Transfer and grill until lobsters are cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately with lemon wedges.