Feasting: The Best Ingredients for Summer-to-Fall Grilling
Feasting is our column dedicated to cooking, grilling, eating and discovering what’s on the menu across America and the world.
We still have a good month left of summer, so we’re trying to grill as much as humanly possible before the colder months move in. But even though this is prime time, you don’t have to put your grill away quite yet as August turns into September and even October. Because after all, that wonderful smoky flavor the grill adds to meat, fish and veggies is delicious all year, and the weather will still be nice enough to get outside and fire it up.
But before you run and grab a few steaks from your butcher, check out these four fall ingredients coming into season in the next couple months. We tell you how to prepare and grill them to perfection so you can use the season’s bounty in the best way possible. So grab some wood, charcoal or turn on the gas, and get to work on some fantastic fall grilling.
Everyone’s favorite bivalve gets a rich, smoky flavor when cooked on the grill. Place oysters cupped side down over medium high heat and grill for a couple minutes until they begin to open. Remember to discard any that stay closed. After cooling slightly, shuck the oysters, being careful to preserve their liquid. Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce.
All you need is a good grill basket to enjoy these fall morsels. Rinse chestnuts and cut a small X with a knife in the flat side of the shell so they don’t explode when cooking. Place them in the basket and grill at 400 degrees. Toss them every five minutes and watch carefully to prevent burning. They need about 15 minutes to cook – the shells will start to open where you first made the x when they’re done.
No matter if they are red or golden, nature’s candy is a delicious fall treat when roasted over hot coals. Get your grill to medium high while you trim and scrub the beets. Cut each beet in half then each half into thirds. Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Fold a large piece of aluminum foil in half and crimp the edges so the juices don’t drip into the fire. Cut a few 1-inch vents in the top of the pouch to release steam. Place the foil packet directly on the hot coals and roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
Eating your greens has never tasted this good. We like mixing the charred leaves with white beans for a simple salad. Brush the escarole with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once until the leaves are wilted and slightly charred. Mix white beans with roasted garlic, olive oil and lemon juice before spooning the mixture over the escarole.
Image via Foodhoe ‘s Foraging