Fresh Blackberry Sauce

I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend! I was in central Oregon this weekend and huckleberries are in season. They taste sort of like a small not so sweet blueberry. Here is an easy, four ingredient fresh berry sauce recipe for you. The recipe calls for blackberries but you could sub blueberries, huckleberries, or raspberries. Use this on grilled chicken or pork, or as a topping on vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

• 3 cups blackberries
• 2 tablespoons brandy
• 2 tablespoons orange juice
• 3 tablespoons raw honey

1. Set aside 1 cup of berries. Puree the remaining berries in a food processor with the brandy, orange juice and honey. Transfer the mixture to a sieve set over a medium bowl. Press the puree through the sieve and discard the seeds.
2. Just before serving, stir in the reserved whole berries.

Eggplant Sammies

Looking for something besides burgers and dogs to throw on the grill this summer?  How about fruits and veggies?  Some of my favorites are zucchini, eggplant, peppers, pineapple, and stone fruits like peaches and nectarines

Here are some other healthy grilling ideas.

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches:  

  • 2 large eggplants
  • Olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • one small handful of fresh basil
  • 6 oz cheve
  • One baguette
  • One large handful of spinach

Preheat grill to high. Cut eggplants into 1/2 inch thick slices, sprinkle them with salt and olive oil and set aside.  Slice red peppers into wide strips (you don’t want them falling through the grate) and sprinkle them with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Slice tomatoes.  Cut baguette in four pieces then slice them lengthwise down the middle.

Grill eggplant and peppers until they are soft and slightly charred – about 10 minutes. Remove your veggies to a serving platter and keep them warm.  Place the bread (inside down) on the grill and cook just until warm and grill marks have formed – about 2 minutes.

Assemble your sandwiches.  Spread the bottom piece of bread with an ounce or two of cheve (or your favorite cheese), then layer a few basil leaves, sliced tomato, eggplant, peppers, a few spinach leaves and the top piece of bread.  Serve with a green salad and maybe some grilled fruit.

*If you are avoiding dairy or gluten you could modify this recipe by using hummus instead of cheese, or stack your grilled veggies, herbs and tomatoes napolean style for a beautiful ap or side dish.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Corn

Listen up Portland – it is officially summer!  While here in the Pacific Northwest this may not necessarily mean shorts and flip-flops just yet, fresh corn is popping up in stores.  One of my clients passed along this grilled corn recipe (thanks Rick!) – it was a huge hit at his BBQ last weekend.

Try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Corn:

  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients except corn.  Brush the sauce over each ear of corn then wrap each ear in aluminum foil (or if you want to get fancy – pull down the husks, pull off the silks, brush the corn with the sauce, wrap the husks back over the ears and tie the ends with a string or metal twist tie).

Cook on a very hot grill for thirty minutes turning occasionally.  Just before serving peel away the foil or husks, brush the corn again with any remaining sauce, serve and enjoy!