The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Vegetables

Tue Nov 10, 2015

Grilled Butternut Squash With Fresh Ricotta, Pine Nuts, and Sage

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Grilled Butternut Squash with Fresh Ricotta, Pine Nuts, and Sage

A few weeks ago I ran down my favorite fall veggies and realized one of my top picks—butternut squash—was only represented on this blog in soup form. To fill this recipe void, I fired up my grill one brilliantly bright fall afternoon—the light was so harsh that it wreaked havoc on my camera's exposures, so please forgive those blown out highlights—and cooked two butternut squashes. The dish I made with them was so good it stole the spotlight from the massive spatchcocked turkey I cooked alongside it, which was one of the best birds to come off my grill.

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Tue Oct 27, 2015

Grill-Roasted Carrots With Sweet Soy Glaze

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Grilled Carrots with Sweet Sou Glaze

If I were to rank my favorites among the orange-hued vegetables that make up a substantial portion of the fall harvest, it would go: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, then carrots. Although they come in third, carrots exhibit similar qualities that make fall veggies so appealing when the temperature begins heading south—they develop a great sweetness and tenderness during a long roast. It's the long part of that equation that keeps me from grilling them too often, since to get them into their ideal state, it can easily take an entire batch of charcoal. Still, whenever I do grill them, I never regret it, and you can add these grill-roasted carrots finished with a sweet soy glaze to the list of things I didn't regret using a chimney worth of coals cooking.

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Tue Sep 8, 2015

Aioli-and-Pesto Fingerling Potato Salad

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Fingerling Potato Salad

There are some neighborhood restaurants that just feel like home. It'll take some time for me to find that place in my new locale of Durham, but back in Astoria there was no question that Il Bambino played that part in my life. It's a small panini shop that opened a few years after I moved to the neighborhood, and I was instantly enamored of their excellent sandwiches, welcoming owner, and a killer cannellini bean salad with pesto that quickly became my go-to appetizer. The restaurant hasn't changed too much over the years, and while the menu fluctuates just enough to keep things interesting, my main comforts have persisted over time.

It was a sad day though when I came in and saw that the bean salad was not on the menu. In its place was an unassuming fingerling potato salad. I ordered it, skeptical any dish could replace my fondness for the bean salad, but was taken aback with just how amazing it was.

Tender and creamy fingerling potatoes were coated in a truffle aioli, drizzled with the same fresh basil pesto that made the bean salad so magical, sprinkled with sweet and crunchy fried shallots, and generously topped with delicate shavings of sharp and salty pecorino romano. One bite and I'd nearly forgotten about that bean salad.

So, when I was considering what side to bring to my first cookout I was invited to down here in NC, I felt like anything less than this particular combination of ingredients would be selling myself short. It's rather process-heavy as potato salads go, but it's worth every second of it.

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Tue Aug 18, 2015

Mustard Coleslaw

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Mustard Slaw

When getting into barbecue, I had to take a long time enemy face on—coleslaw. I knew coleslaw only as that tough, bland salad doled out in medicine cups at Greek dinners, dressed with mayo as if that would make such an undesirable side more palatable. When I became a barbecue fiend, I was confronted with slaw in larger portions, and guiltily left it remaining on my plate after finishing all the glorious smoked meats that sat next to it. It took some time, but I couldn't rightfully keep being so wasteful, so started to cautiously indulge in coleslaw, and while mostly I remained unimpressed, I came across a few that surprised me with how delicious they were. Over my many years of cooking, I made it a point to whip up some coleslaw now and again in an attempt to make it match, or better, those that I found worthy of being served with barbecue, and I'm happy to say I've finally found slaw nirvana in this unassuming mustard coleslaw.

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Wed Jul 15, 2015

Grilled Pasta Primavera

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Grilled Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera was once my answer to an almost weekly problem—what to do with loads of veggies from our CSA. For me, roasting whatever bounty we received that week and then tossing them with pasta was an easy, and consistently delicious, solution. The repetitiveness of the CSA ultimately led me to jump ship, but pasta primavera has remained in my life as a fairly healthy meal that's quick enough to put together on a weeknight and makes for good leftovers. I'm not sure why, but I've always roasted my veggies in the over for this and never thought of utilizing my grill until recently, which is a shame, because the results were decidedly even more awesome.

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