Warmer weather means BBQ time.
Prepare an outdoor grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas). If using a charcoal grill, open vents on the bottom of the grill, then light the charcoal. When the charcoal turns grayish white about 15 minutes after lighting, the grill is ready. If using a gas grill, preheat the burners on high, covered for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat if specified in the recipe.
Keep a third of your grill fire-free. On a charcoal grill, this means spreading the coals over the rear two-thirds of the firebox and leaving the front third coal-free. On a gas grill, leave one burner off. Sausages should be grilled over indirect heat.
Do not boil sausages before grilling because it diminishes flavor and moistness Pre-boiling is unnecessary, if you grill carefully.
There’s no need to prick sausages with toothpicks or a fork before grilling. Perforating the casing only releases flammable fats, juices and flavor.
Lightly brush or rub the casings with olive oil. This prevents sticking and makes them extra crisp.
Handle with care. The key to a juicy sausage is to keep the casing intact. Use tongs and don’t break the sausage skin when turning.
Grill the sausages over the indirect part of the grill until crusty and golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes.
The safe internal temperature for ground meats—sausages included—is 160 degrees F. The casing will be crisp and brown, the filling plump and bubbling. But the only way to check, if the sausages are cooked, is to insert an instant-read meat thermometer through one end of the sausage toward the center.
Warm Pepper and Onion Salad
- 3 mixed colored large bell peppers, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
- 1 large red onion, quartered lengthwise and separated into layers
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Toss peppers and onion with 1 tablespoon oil. Grill on a lightly oiled grill sheet or a sheet of heavy-duty foil set directly on the grill rack (with grill covered if using a gas grill), turning occasionally, until slightly softened and charred, 9 to 15 minutes (onion will cook faster), transfer vegetables to a platter when cooked.
Add vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the peppers and onion, tossing to coat. Let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Place grilled sausages on top.
Potato and Green Bean Salad
- 6 ounces green beans
- 2 pounds peeled small potatoes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- Coarse salt
Simmer green beans in salted water until barely tender and bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or wire-mesh skimmer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry.
Add potatoes to the same pot of salted water and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and halve them.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and thyme in a large bowl. Add potatoes, beans and red onion. Gently toss. Season with coarse salt.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cannellini Bean Salad
- 600 gr (1.3 lbs) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- A generous handful of mixed fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 19 oz can cannellini beans, well-drained and rinsed (if using dried beans, 450 gr or 1 lb)
If using dried beans, start this recipe a day ahead. Soak the beans in cold water overnight. The next day, rinse the beans, place them in a pot well covered with water, add some herbs and simmer for 1 hour or until tender. Cool the beans in the cooking liquid, taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Set aside until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 160 C/320 degrees F.
Put the tomatoes in a large bowl. Season with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and herbs. Mix well.
Pour the tomato mixture onto a large roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until they begin to blistered. Place the tomato mixture in a serving bowl.
Add the well-drained beans to the tomatoes while they are still warm, taste for seasoning.
Serve warm as a side dish over arugula leaves.
Eggplant, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 1 pound sliced ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush two rimmed baking sheets with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil each. Arrange eggplant slices on the baking sheets. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the eggplant is golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
On a serving platter, layer eggplant with sliced mozzarella and tomatoes. Top with basil leaves and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and balsamic vinegar.
Tortellini Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
- 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, rinsed and quartered
- 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Arugula or baby spinach, for serving
- 2 ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the tortellini along with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, scallions and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Working over a bowl, rub tomato halves on the large-holed side of a box grater until only the skins remain. Discard the skins.
Add vinegar, oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper to the tomato juice and whisk until blended.
Add the Tomato Vinaigrette to the tortellini salad and toss. Serve the salad on a bed of arugula or baby spinach.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
May 4, 2015 at 7:14 am
All of the recipes are perfect for summer. Grilling to us is a way of life. We try to make as much outdoors as possible. Your recipes will certainly be on our roster for spring and summer. Thank you for sharing!!
May 4, 2015 at 7:28 am
I am with you here, Marisa. Love to use the grill and get as much done as possible in the morning. Afternoons and early evening are very hot here.
Our Growing Paynes
May 4, 2015 at 8:42 am
I have never boiled sausages before grilling. That just sounds strange to me!
May 4, 2015 at 11:12 am
I have never done that either Virginia but I know lots of cooks who do. I think boiling takes all the flavor out of the sausage.
Our Growing Paynes
May 4, 2015 at 12:36 pm
Not to mention add more steps!
May 4, 2015 at 10:15 am
Awesome recipes – I was just talking about grilling some sausages. Really enjoy your blog posts.
May 4, 2015 at 11:12 am
Thank you so much Mary. Enjoy your sausages.
May 4, 2015 at 11:48 am
The photo of those sausages has me absolutely drooling Jovina! My hubby survived his entire single life before me making sausage with sauteed onions & peppers. He put that combo on spaghetti, eggs, sandwich rolls etc. It was his go to meal (and probably the only thing his Italian dad taught him to make). Now he’s completely spoiled. Not sure he can boil water (or at least that’s what he wants me to think). Ah memories!
May 4, 2015 at 11:59 am
What a great story Karen. At least he can cook sausage!
May 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm
This looks fantastic! I love that it’s finally warm enough to pull out the grill. Those sausages looks so perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
May 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm
I bet it is comforting to have the weather warm up after a cold winter. Sausages are a great food to cook on the grill. Thanks Mary Frances.
May 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm
Comfort food! Looks good!!
May 4, 2015 at 10:52 pm
May 5, 2015 at 4:31 am
Still no source of italian sausages 🙁 Will have to try and knock that on the head. Great grill tips and the accompanying dishes all sound super.
May 5, 2015 at 10:47 am
That’s not good. When is a courier going to Italy next? Maybe they can pick up a supply.
May 6, 2015 at 4:07 pm
The problem is getting them to us in time as they’re perishable. Couriers J&m are always looking for them for us but they don’t swing by us on the way back from Italy, just north/south through france to portugal.
May 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm
Too bad – not an easy solution.
Amanda | What's Cooking
May 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm
OMG you’re getting me ready for summer time. Hot or sweet italian sausages are one of my all time faves on the grill. They rival the great burger. Great side dishes too. I would feast on any of this.
May 7, 2015 at 7:23 am
Thanks Amanda. I agree Italian sausage on the grill so delicious.
May 8, 2015 at 11:03 am
I made the potato salad the other night, and it was quite the hit! Thanks for the recipe!
May 8, 2015 at 11:17 am
Thank you so much Anne for letting me know you liked this recipe. I really appreciate it.
Pingback: Fresh Basil Raspberry and Goat Cheese Salad | Splendid Recipes and More