Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

July 4th Recipe Ideas

In today’s New York Times, the Miminalist lists 101 easy recipes for July 4th and picnics or for any time.

Here is an easy recipe for grilled vegetables:

I rather eat a lot of appetizer-like dishes rather than an entree and a side dish. I guess I like to “nosh” or graze, smaller plates of different tastes is my favorite way to eat.

One of my favorite things to do is grill a bunch of vegetables. This is versatile as you can eat the grilled vegetables as is or in a salad or in a sandwich or all three.

Take different colored peppers and cut into wide strips. Use button or portabella mushrooms. If using the latter, quarter or halve. Chinese eggplant is more grillable than traditional eggplant. Slice the Chinese or “baby” eggplant vertically. Zucchini or butternut squash is also delicious grilled. If grilling sweet potatoes, consider microwaving them first. Quarter white or red onions.

You can have a pile of vegetables but after they’re grilled, they shrink so don’t panic.

After cutting up all the vegetables, spray with a bit of Italian salad dressing. As soon as you take the vegetables off the grill, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Grilled vegetables make great side dishes to serve with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken.  You can even brush them lightly with BBQ sauce either while on the grill or when you remove them. Vegetarians may like a grilled vegetable sandwich where the bread is spread with a good bottled BBQ sauce.  

You can also grill fresh pineapple, pears, peaches, and nectarines. Slice and brush with melted butter and brown sugar. Grill until almost soft but still firm. Serve as a side dish or with grilled chicken or pork chops or for dessert, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cocoanut sorbet and drizzle with caramel sauce or melted apricot jam.

Happy eating. Indulge in moderation.



  1. Yummy. My husband won’t eat zucchini unless it is grilled. Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on it before serving. I like the Kraft parmesan cheese in the green can. I was raised on it. What can I say! It says it is 100% cheese. Not sure that was the case when I was growing up.

  2. Mary,
    I used to love the parmesan cheese in the can. Then one day I saw someone grate the cheese from a wedge of cheese and I never looked back. The real thing paled the can.

    I’m sure the can has much sodium. Also you gotta wonder about the preservatives because of the shelf life.

    I bet it was 100% cheese when we were growing up because everything was more pure then. Remember Hostess cupcakes? The cream filling was cream filling and now it’s chemicals.

    Here’s an interesting website talking about the parmesan cheese in a can –

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