Turn On the Barbeque!

Turn on the Barbeque!

Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of barbeque season across the country. Here in the Bay Area we are lucky enough to be able to use our outdoor grills all year long, but come late spring, the whole party moves outdoors.

Planning a barbeque?  Here are my family’s top recommendations for some tasty, easy to make recipes.

On the Grill
While we love our hamburgers, sausages provide a flavorful alternative. Many great sausages are made these days including naturally raised hormone-free meats. One added advantage with sausages is they come pre-seasoned. Throw one down on the grill and its aroma will draw people in. Plus, no buns required!

We also like to toss some vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and throw them on the grill along side the meats. Both the vegetarians and the meat eaters are happy to partake in these. Grilled onions, zucchini, Portobello mushrooms, asparagus and peppers go wonderfully with the meats, and the vegetarians can make delectable sandwiches with grilled veggies. And for an extra special touch, blend mayonnaise with a few garlic cloves until smooth and stir in a few basil leaves, and you have the ultimate spread for both the meat and the vegetable sandwiches.

Seasonal Sides
Alongside these, serve seasonal salads for color, freshness, and variety. Showcase summer corn with a corn and cumin salad. Cumin wonderfully complements sausages, and it adds intriguing flavor to make the salad stand on its own. Tossing some cubed smoked or marinated tofu transforms this salad into a hearty and healthy vegetarian entrée.

Stuffed tomatoes make a beautiful treat. Select round flavorful heirloom tomatoes and hollow them out, fill the cavity with tabouli for an elegant yet easy dish.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Sigona’s family barbeque without fruit! We always select whatever looks best that week, put it on a platter and it disappears.  Or, we make a light and refreshing fruit salad, which cleans the palate and provides a light counterpoint to the heavier fare.

Drinks that Refresh
Especially given the hot weather, having a selection of drinks, especially non-alcoholic, will be important to keep people cool, comfortable, and hydrated. Two particularly good choices are sparkling water and watermelon agua frescas, both are guaranteed to please.
Have a great holiday weekend!

Robbie Sigona

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