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"It's so beautifully arranged on the the plate – you know someone's fingers have been all over it." – Julia Child

I woke up early and headed to the 68th and Lex to wait for the Jitney to the North Fork. Within two hours, concrete buildings and city sidewalks melted into quaint peak-roofed steeples and clumsily hand-painted signs that said “Fresh Pie” and “CORN.”

I sat on a bench after the bus had deposited me and Tara zoomed up in her car. I hopped in, getaway-car-style, and we took a whirlwind tour of the farm stands and markets in town, ignoring the picturesque scenes and focusing instead on the violent rolling of the clouds, bellies about to burst with rain. In a matter of minutes we’d picked up hot and sweet Italian sausages at Love Lane Market in Mattituck, duck eggs at Wells Homestead Market on the main road in Aquebogue, vegetables at Schmitt’s Farmstand on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, and cider doughnuts and a loaf of shiny-skinned brioche at Junta’s Pastry in Jamesport.

The storm still threatening, we started up the grill and threw everything on— sausages, bread, Brussels sprouts, whole heads of garlic, zucchini—without fussing over much. We were on warp speed because of the weather, but it was very apropos: the whole point of our shoot and cookout had been to shop locally and pile food on the grill; easy prep that required nothing but olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herb-flecked butter,  so we could enjoy the last official weekend of summer—and all the wine from Croteoaux Vineyard in Southold.

The recipes below are more of a guideline than a strict how-to; keeping it simple so you have time to kick back and relax is the most important thing.

NO-FUSS COOKOUT

Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Assorted sausages, poked all over with a fork
Crusty bread, sliced about 1-inch thick
Assorted vegetables, sliced about ¾-inch thick
Whole heads of garlic

Heat grill according to manufacturer’s instructions. Brush all ingredients with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange all ingredients in single layer on grill and cook until sausages are plump, charred, and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, and vegetables are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

RUSTIC CAPRESE SALAD    

Grilled garlic (see recipe above)
Heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
Fresh mozzarella, pulled into bite-size pieces
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves

Once cooled, peel garlic and squeeze out with fingertips. Arrange tomatoes, mozzarella, and garlic on plate or cutting board and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter basil leaves over; serve.

FRESH HERB BUTTER

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs (such as thyme, oregano, and marjoram), finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Combine butter and herbs in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside grilled proteins, vegetables, and bread; spread lavishly.

Comments

4 Comments

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  1. September 25, 2012

    As summer pulls away, I find myself needing one last cookout, more and more…!

  2. mollisia #
    October 2, 2012

    oh, I’m speachless – it looks amazing, healthy and very in my style :)

  3. November 8, 2012

    what beautiful photos! I wish it was summer still!

  4. July 5, 2013

    Reblogged this on BBQ Cast Iron Recipes.

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