A Dinner With Vegetables of the Season
It’s been a dry summer in St. Louis, and the vegetable garden only just got started…kind of like the Cardinals…coming to life in October. To celebrate the productivity of both we had a dinner that was like a grand slam home run. Grilling season isn’t ever over as far as I’m concerned. I will shovel a path to the grill all winter if I have to. I thawed some chicken breasts that I had in the big freezer and then went out back to pick some vegetables to go on the side. A good size acorn squash was ready, the zucchini is still producing so I picked one of those and the tomato vines are just now starting to produce a good amount of grape tomatoes. A nice handful of those was good. Onions are a staple in my refrigerator and I found a pretty purple one in the crisper. For Friday night eating light is a good idea. We’ll have the whole weekend to live it up. So chicken and garden fresh vegetables will do.
While I was warming up the grill, I sliced the acorn squash into sixths and placed them in a 9”x 9” glass baking pan, poured about a half cup of water in the bottom, and sprinkled the tops with brown sugar, a drizzle of honey, a little dot here and there of liquid smoke, same with the Worcestershire sauce, plus a pinch or two of salt. I put that in the microwave for ten minutes on high then covered it in plastic film while I finished grilling the chicken. The chicken was done in about half an hour. No seasonings or sauce, just flame, and low to medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. While the chicken was resting I put the squash back in the microwave for a couple of minutes to make sure it was fork tender then sliced up the onion, zucchini, and the tomatoes. With a dash of olive oil in a small skillet, I sautéed the veggies until they were browned on the edges but not too done. I grated some cheddar cheese on top of that and let it melt. Everything was done just right, warmed nicely, and all ready for the table. A good dinner doesn’t have to be loaded with courses to be tasty and wholesome. We were all quite satisfied with a lighter meal, half of which was alive out in the sunshine less than an hour before, adding to the satisfaction.