One of my favorite summer dinners is a big salad with some kind of simply grilled protein. And if you do the grilling outside, you have the added benefit of keeping your kitchen cooler than it would be if you cranked up your oven. I made a big Greek salad (featured in a previous blog post) and rounded out the meal with grilled shrimp (drizzled with lemon juice and a sprinkling of salt and pepper), hummus and grilled flat bread. No one left the table hungry but we also didn’t have that uncomfortably full feeling that accompanies some heavier meals.
I know there are a million variations of hummus these days but I still prefer the basic chickpea version. I use the very simple recipe on the back of the Tahini jar. Just before serving, I drizzle it with a flavored olive oil and sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top.
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1/3 cup Tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic Salt to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling) chopped parsley or other herbs
Drain chickpeas and add to blender or Cuisinart with all ingredients except for garnishes. Blend until smooth and combined. If too thick, you can add a little warm water. Place hummus in serving plate and garnish with additional oil and chopped herbs.
I love making flatbread in the summer. Again, why turn on the oven when you can use the grill? I use a recipe I got from www.thebakerchick.com that is simple and quick. You can dress it up however you want – I made a garlic oil (olive oil with minced garlic and coarse salt) and freshly chopped parsley.
3 cups flour, bread or all-purpose
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Flaky salt, for finishing
4 cloves of garlic, minced
a large sprig of rosemary and parsley, chopped
In a large bowl (regular or the bowl of a stand mixer,) stir together the flour, salt and yeast.
Made a well in the middle of the bowl and add the warm water and oil.
Stir together until the mixture forms a shaggy mass. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook and and mix on low speed for 3-4 minutes.
If mixing by hand, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is soft and smooth, 6-8 minutes. (If dough feels sticky sprinkle on additional flour.)
Transfer the kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let proof for 30-60 minutes, until almost doubled in volume.
Preheat your grill, (or you could use a grill pan.)
Divide the dough into 4 even pieces with oiled hands. Smush a clove of minced garlic into each round. Make sure the dough is covered with oil on both sides.
When the grill is ready, place the dough rounds onto the grate with the garlic side up. (They can lose shape a bit, it’s Ok if they aren’t perfect.)
Grill for 3-4 mins per side, checking to make sure the bottom is golden before flipping.
When done, brush with olive oil and sprinkles with flakey sea salt and fresh herbs.
Enjoy warm or room temperature, but I think they are best warm.