My little sister is leaving town today and going back home to Charleston. I'm going to miss her so much. She is extremely easy-going (certainly the most laid back of us three girls) and is the best house guest there is. For one thing, she helped me rearrange and organize my entire kitchen. I believe this was prompted by my leaving the ginormous food dehydrator out on the counter and deciding it looked fine. She didn't think so. I was making my lunch one day and when I turned around, she was pulling things out of my cabinet to make room for the thing. Did I mention she's a professional pastry chef and has strong opinions on how a kitchen should run? She is and she totally does. I was so excited that I almost dropped my skillet. Yes, I love organizing that much. I also hadn't realized how whacked out my kitchen had become until she got in there and got busy. I have a crock pot? And an avocado slicer? And three old cell phones from the late 90's? Thank you again, dear girl.
Needless to say, there's been lots and lots of laughing, talking, reminiscing, and eating. Like most families, right? When everyone came over for an early dinner the other day, I made grilled cherry tomatoes, onions, and zucchini with lemon and rosemary, roasted potatoes with garlic and thyme, fresh corn on the cob, and grilled peaches with coconut ice cream. It was super, duper hot (which I happen to love, though my big sis does not!) and I was so happy to have us all together. Did I mention how hard we are campaigning to get my little sis to move back to Portland? Yeah, we are laying it on thick. And? The grilled peaches sort of blew our minds.
Summer + family + peaches = happy.
Skewered Lemon-Rosemary Cherry Tomatoes with Onions and Zucchini
Adapted from The Gardener & the Grill
1 pint mixed cherry and grape tomatoes
4 sweet onions, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2" slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Thread the cherry tomatoes, onions, and zucchini alternately on skewers. Place skewered vegetables in a large, shallow baking dish. Combine rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings and pour over vegetables, coating well. Marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, turning over two or three times.
Prepare a hot fire in your grill.
When ready to grill, place skewered vegetables directly over the fire. Grill for about 3 to 5 minutes, basting frequently with the marinade until the vegetables are slightly charred.
Grilled Peaches with Lemon Balm Gremolata
Also from The Gardener & the Grill
This recipe is very simple, yet full of flavor. A traditional gremolata has parsley, lemon zest, and garlic, but this is a sweeter version, delicious with fruit. If you don’t have lemon balm in your garden, substitute mint and add more lemon zest. If you use a Microplane grater, you get the flavorful yellow part of the lemon rind without the bitter white pith. By chopping the herbs with the lemon zest, the flavors blend together better. Serves 4.
1/4 cup packed lemon balm leaves
1 tablespoon packed mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch kosher or sea salt
4 peaches, halved and pitted
Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill. Chop the lemon balm, mint, and lemon zest together until very fine. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the leaves and chop again. Set aside in a small bowl.
Place the peach halves cut side down on the grill. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until the peaches are tender and blistered. To serve, place 2 peach halves in each bowl and sprinkle the Lemon Balm Gremolata over all. Serve with Luna & Larry's Naked Coconut ice cream (that's the brand and flavor I use for special occasions — only a few ingredients and no actual sugar). Enjoy!