For National Eat All Your Veggies Day, I would like to reference Jim’s lovely martini post the day before, and do justice to the evocative image of the BBQ getting going on the Ross family farm.

Vegetables are endlessly varied in their colour, texture and nutritional value, and I also want to celebrate the great variety of entertainment our food gives us, as well as the benefit we get from all things grown with love (I try and buy organic as much as possible).  And the magical things that happen when you put stuff on grills.

FYI, I read recently that, in Japan, they call breast cancer ìrich woman’s disease’, primarily because it’s associated with the Western diet of lots of meat and less greens.

And so, back to the greens! And reds! And browns.

Here in the West it seems less attractive to eat veggies in the winter; it’s really during summer they come into their own as we all kick the comfort food and eat something more fresh and unique.

I was heading over to my friend and chef extraordinaire Marta Pan’s place for dinner tonight; she is the Queen of the BBQ, and I suggested bringing the veggies best for char grilling as my contribution. Veg can be almost as good as meat when it comes to grilling. That said, I also brought beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon, and Marta contributed some divine pork tenderloin marinated in five-spice. And to add to our good fortune she made a salad.

June may be acting all coy, but it’s still salad weather again. For me, a salad is all in the dressing. And Marta’s salad dressing is divine.

Here’s what we had for dinner, with veggie recipes below:

Grilled mushrooms, asparagus and red pepper

Green salad


Cioppe bread

Grilled mushrooms (I used 2 Portabello)
Scrape out the gills and marinade in fresh sage, lemon juice and zest, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper, extra virgin olive oil

Grilled asparagus and red pepper
Wash, chop (peppers), remove lower portion of asparagus stalks. Toss with Maldon sea salt and cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil. Grill till charred and soft. Mix with shaved parmesan and fresh lemon juice.

Baby organic greens
Baby spinach
Sunflower & pumpkin seeds (raw sprouts are good too)
Lemon shallot vinaigrette (= shallots, lemon juice, salt & pepper, grapeseed oil, minced garlic.

We also tossed the bacon-wrapped tenderloin with salt and olive oil, and put it on the grill with fresh sage leaves grown in Marta’s garden. And served the whole thing with Cioppe bread – interestingly shaped white rolls named for the same root of cioppino: chunks of something.

~ Deb