1. Shrimp and Lemon Kebabs
Recipe courtesy of chef Sean Brock from Husk in Charleston
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cracked black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
2 lemons, cut into eighths
4 large wood skewers, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
In a large mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, black pepper, garlic, and basil. Toss to coat evenly. Place two shrimp on a skewer, then a lemon wedge. Continue until each skewer has 3 wedges and 6 shrimp. Grill the shrimp until just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
2. Feta-Stuffed Shishito Pepper and Eggplant Kebabs
Recipe courtesy of Steve Redzikowski from Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder
8 shishito peppers
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 Japanese eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Make a cut in the side of each pepper and stuff with goat cheese. Alternating cubes of eggplant with the stuffed peppers, thread onto metal skewers. Brush liberally with canola oil and cook on the grill until the eggplant softens and the peppers begin to char, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with harissa or another spicy sauce.
3. Peach Kebabs With Gorgonzola Dolce and Dandelion Green Salsa Verde
Recipe courtesy of chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto in San Francisco and adapted from his Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 yellow peaches, pitted and cut into quarters
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 rosemary skewers, 6 to 8 inches long, with needles removed except for the top
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola dolce
Dandelion salsa verde (recipe follows)
Preheat the grill to medium. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and the oil. Season the peaches with salt and pepper and place in the bowl, tossing to coat with the vinegar-and-oil mixture.
Thread the peaches onto the rosemary skewers, alternating with wedges of red onion. Place the skewers carefully on the grill and cook until caramelized, about 4 minutes. Season with black pepper and then crumble the Gorgonzola on top. To garnish, drizzle the dandelion salsa verde over the top of the skewer and serve immediately.
For the Dandelion Salsa Verde:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 tbsp salt-packed capers, soaked and rinsed to remove salt
1 cup chervil leaves
1/2 cut tarragon
1/4 cup minced chives
1 cup dandelion greens
1 tsp lemon zest
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, combine the onions and red-wine vinegar with a pinch of salt and set aside for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine the capers, herbs, dandelion greens, lemon zest, and garlic. Drain the onions, discarding the vinegar, and add the onions to the bowl as well. Mix to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the olive oil. Allow to rest for 1 hour before serving in order for the flavor to develop.
4. Mustard Greens and Kale Salad With Toasted Grains and Egg
Adapted recipe courtesy of chef Joshua Skenes from Saison in San Francisco
For the greens:
1 large bunch of kale, torn into palm-size pieces
1 large bunch of mustard greens, torn into palm-size pieces
Grape-seed oil, for brushing onto the leaves
Salt, to taste
Preheat the grill to low. With a pastry brush, coat both sides of leaves with oil. Season with salt. Arrange the leaves evenly on the grill grate and grill, turning every 10 minutes, until crisp—about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
For the grains:
2/3 cup cooked farro
2/3 cup cooked barley
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp grape-seed oil
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
In a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, toast the farro and barley until crisp and golden. Add butter and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat when butter is evenly melted. In another skillet, combine the grape-seed oil and wild rice. Heat until wild rice puffs; remove immediately and drain excess oils.
For the poached eggs:
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp salt
Bring 3 inches of water to boil in a pot over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add vinegar and salt. Crack an egg into a separate small bowl. Gently slip the egg into the water and repeat with the remaining eggs. Poach eggs for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes of until the whites are firm and the yolks are thick but not hard. Strain eggs from the water with a slotted spoon.
To assemble the dish: Divide the farro and barley evenly among 4 serving bowls. Place a spoon of puffed wild rice and a poached egg over the bed of grains. Arrange the mustard greens and kale over top and serve immediately.
5. Grilled Watermelon Salsa
Recipe courtesy of chef Graham Elliot of Graham Elliot in Chicago
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
3 inch-thick slices of seedless watermelon
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
1 tbsp minced jalapeño
1 tsp honey
1 tsp red-wine vinegar
1 tsp minced chives
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Rub the slices of watermelon with half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place over a hot grill and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove the watermelon from the grill. Discard the rind from the watermelon and dice the flesh into 1/4-inch cubes. In a mixing bowl, combine the watermelon with the onion, jalapeño, honey, red-wine vinegar, and remaining olive oil. Gently fold in the chives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
6. Diablo Oysters
Recipe courtesy of chef James Holmes of Lucy's Fried Chicken in Austin
Makes 24 oysters
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
2 habaneros, minced
1/8 tsp salt
24 oysters, opened but left on the half shell
2 tbsp habanero-infused vinegar (fresh habanero peppers steeped in white vinegar for two hours)
2 fresh jalapeños, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Make the compound butter: Combine the butter, shallot, habaneros, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor and purée. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.
Using oak or mesquite wood chips, preheat the grill to medium-high. Place 1 tsp of the compound butter on top of each oyster. Grill oysters until bubbly and the edges begin to curl, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle vinegar over the oysters, top with jalapeños and Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.
7. Grilled Octopus With Summer Succotash
Recipe courtesy of chef Quinn Hatfield from Hatfield's in Los Angeles
1 whole, raw octopus (3 to 4 pounds)
2 tbsp butter
4 large ears sweet corn, kernels removed
2 cups fava beans, shelled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
12 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
2 tbsp sweet paprika
Salt, to taste
Prepare the octopus: Bring a large pot of water with a lid to a boil over high heat. Place the octopus in a large bowl in the sink and rinse under running water until the water in the bowl is clear and the octopus skin feels clean, with no traces of grit.
Transfer the octopus to a cutting board and cut the tentacles from the body. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the tentacles and give a gentle stir; the tentacles will curl up separately. Keep the heat on high and allow the pot to return to a gentle simmer; when this happens, place the lid on top but slightly ajar. Simmer the octopus for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, turn off the heat, cover the pot securely with the lid, and let stand for 1 more hour. Carefully transfer the tentacles to a parchment-linedsheet tray and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or, preferably, overnight. Before grilling, carefully wipe any jelled cooking liquid from the tentacles and gently pat dry with paper towels.
Prepare a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill, to medium-high heat. Make sure your grill is very clean. Wipe the grill with a clean rag dabbed in a little vegetable oil once the proper temperature is achieved. This is very important to ensure that the octopus does not stick.
Make the succotash: In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until hot and foaming. Add the corn and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender and slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes.
Add the fava beans and cook until tender and bright green, about 4 more minutes. Toss in the cherry tomatoes and basil. Season to taste with salt and a few grinds of black pepper, if desired. Keep warm.
Remove the octopus tentacles from the refrigerator and evenly sprinkle with the paprika and salt. Place the tentacles on the grill perpendicular to the lines of the grill. Cover the grill and cook the octopus until crisp without moving, about 4 minutes. Flip the tentacles carefully and repeat on the other side. Transfer the succotash to serving plates and top with the grilled octopus. Serve immediately.
8. Grilled Apricots With Greek Yogurt, Warm Honey, and Toasted Walnuts
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay from Mesa Grill in New York City and Las Vegas
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup honey
6 ripe apricots, halved and pitted
3 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
Fresh mint sprigs, for optional garnish
Preheat grill to high. Toast walnuts in a small nonstick skillet, stirring frequently. As soon as they become fragrant and begin to brown, add honey; cook over medium heat until honey is hot. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Thread the apricot halves onto metal skewers and brush with oil. Place on the grill cut-side down and cook until golden-brown and caramelized, about 2 minutes. Turn the apricots over and continue cooking until just warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Place 3 apricot halves on each plate. Top each half with 1 tbsp yogurt; drizzle honey-walnut mixture over the top. Garnish with a mint sprig.
9. Baby Artichoke Skewers
Recipe courtesy of chef Seamus Mullen from Tertulia in New York City
6 baby artichokes, exterior leaves peeled and discarded, cut in half
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
1 garlic clove, very finely minced
1 lemon, zest removed and juiced
Thread the artichoke pieces onto two skewers. Brush with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Grill over high heat, turning periodically for 8 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, toss grilled artichokes with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and the lemon zest and juice.
10. Grilled Cucumber Salad
Recipe courtesy of chef Kevin Sbraga from Sbraga in Philadelphia
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing vegetables and honeydew
1/2 tsp salt
2 English cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and quartered
2 cups honeydew melon
1 slice red onion (cut 1/2-inch thick)
4 oz feta cheese, cut into slabs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Combine dill, canola oil, and salt in a blender and purée until smooth. Strain and reserve the dill oil.
Preheat a grill until very hot. Brush the cucumbers, honeydew, onion, and feta with canola oil to coat.
Place the cucumbers cut-side down on the grill grates. Place the onion on the grill grates. Grill the cucumbers and onion, turning once or twice, until grill marks have appeared and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes, total. Set aside to cool. Grill the honeydew and feta, turning once, just until grill marks appear, about 1 minute.
Dice the cucumber, honeydew, onion, and feta and toss with the reserved dill oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
11. Grilled Lobster With Lemon-Herb Butter
Recipe courtesy of chef April Bloomfield from The John Dory Oyster Bar in New York City
2 1- to 1 1/2-pound lobsters, split in half
1 tbsp canola oil
Salt to taste
Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush the meat side of the lobster with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the lobster, cut side down, on a hot grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with lemon-herb butter.
For the Lemon-Herb Butter:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp mixed herbs (chopped chervil, fennel fronds, tarragon, all finely chopped)
Salt to taste
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the lemon juice, cayenne, and salt. Remove the melted butter mixture from the heat and add the chopped herbs. Serve immediately.
12. Grilled Sardines With Charred Peppers
Recipe courtesy of chef George Mendes of Aldea in New York City
2 poblano peppers
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Sherry vinegar, to taste
4 sardines, gutted and cleaned
Maldon sea salt, to taste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
4 lemon wedges
Prepare a charcoal grill by heating a mixture of all-natural briquettes and hardwood lump charcoal until very hot. Lightly coat the peppers with olive oil and very generously season with salt. Place peppers on the hot grill grate and grill, turning occasionally, until blackened and collapsed, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a dish. When cool enough to handle, peel and remove the stems and seeds. Cut the peppers into 1/2-inch strips and toss with olive oil and sherry vinegar to taste. Let stand.
Make sure your grill is still very hot. If not, add more charcoal and heat. Lightly coat the sardines with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Place on the hot grill grate and grill, turning occasionally, until grill marks appear and the sardines start to whistle, about 8 minutes.
Transfer to serving plates and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt on top of the fish. Arrange the marinated peppers alongside and garnish all with the parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.
13. Grilled Corn and Tomato Pizza
Recipe courtesy of chef Jim Lahey of Co. in New York City and adapted from My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home by Jim Lahey with Rick Flaste
Makes 2 pizzas
2 balls of No-Knead Pizza Dough (recipe below), shaped and placed on a lightly oiled inverted baking sheet
1/2 cup Béchamel Sauce (recipe below)
6 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into 5 clumps
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup fresh corn kernels
16 medium basil leaves, roughly torn
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Working one pie at a time, carefully lift and transfer a shaped pizza dough onto the grill and cook with the grill cover down until the crust holds its shape and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
Using an ovenproof spatula, flip the crust over onto the coolest part of the grill. Spoon half of the béchamel over the surface and spread evenly, leaving about 1 inch of the crust's rim untouched. Top with half of the Parmigiano, mozzarella, and garlic. Season with chili flakes and salt and drizzle with olive oil. Top with half of the tomatoes, corn, and basil. Cook with the grill cover down until the crust is golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.
For the No-Knead Pizza Dough:
Makes: 4 balls of dough or enough for 4 pizzas
500 grams (about 3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
1 gram (1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
16 grams (2 tsp) fine sea salt
350 grams (1 1/2 cups) water
In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and, with a wooden spoon or your hands, mix thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature (about 72°F) for 18 hours or until more than doubled. It will take longer in a chilly room and less time in a warm one.
Flour a work surface and scrape out the dough. Divide into 4 equal parts and shape them: For each portion, start with the right side of the dough and pull it toward the center; then do the same with the left, then the top, then the bottom. (The order doesn't actually matter; what you want is four folds.) Shape each portion into a round and turn seam side down. Mold the dough into a neat circular mound. The mounds should not be sticky; if they are, dust with more flour.
If you don't intend to use the dough right away, wrap the balls individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature by leaving them out on the counter, covered in a damp cloth, for 2 to 3 hours before needed.
For the Béchamel Sauce:
Makes: About 1 cup or enough for 4 pizzas
1 cup whole milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg
Pour about one-third of the milk into a saucepan. Add the butter and heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until the butter melts and without letting the milk come to a boil.
Meanwhile, put the flour in a medium mixing bowl, add the remaining milk, and whisk into a slurry. Once the butter is incorporated into the hot milk, ladle some of the hot milk mixture into the cold milk mixture to warm it. Whisk the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan. Stir in the salt.
Cook, whisking frequently, over medium-low heat, until thickened. Stir in the nutmeg and let cool to room temperature. Use immediately or cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Return to room temperature before using.
14. Grilled Brownies
Recipe courtesy of chef Chris Ford from Wit and Wisdom in Baltimore
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 oz melted butter
Mesquite grill seasoning
In the work bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the paddle attachment, cream eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract together until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift cocoa, flour, and salt together and whisk to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix just until incorporated. Add melted butter all at once and mix on medium speed to emulsify ingredients.
Scrape down bowl and mix again for 1 minute on medium speed. Spread brownie batter evenly onto 9x12 baking pan and bake at 325 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes clean. Let completely cool to room temperature.
Cut brownies into 2-inch-by-5-inch rectangles or any size you prefer. Grease the hot grill with pan spray. Quickly grill brownie rectangle for 1 to 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with mesquite grill seasoning and serve with vanilla ice cream.