This season, skip the staid standbys and think outside the box—try a spicy, gourmet-style burger and throw some fresh veggies and fruits on the grill for an unexpected side dish or salad.
Summers were meant for the outdoors. So fire up the grill in your backyard and try out these fresh new recipes, courtesy of Spiro Pappadopoulos, owner of Evenfall in Haverhill, as well as Andolini’s and the newly opened Sauce, both in Andover.
“Grilling gets chefs outside and enjoying the fleeting summers we [get] in New England,” says Pappadopoulos (his spicy burger is shown at left; see below to learn how to make a Reuben-inspired burger—the addition of Sriracha amps classic Thousand Island dressing up to become 10,000 Island dressing—that’s available at Sauce). Grilling brings with it lots of options, meaning at-home chefs can cook up something for everyone, be they meat lovers or vegetarians. “You can grill almost anything,” Pappadopoulos says. “All you have to do is take into account the high heat and the fact that it may char the outside” of whatever you toss on the grill top.
For something unexpected and versatile, try fruit, Pappadopoulos says. “Grilled fruit, like that used in our grilled nectarine salad, can be used in any course of a summer meal, from appetizer to dessert.”
How Reuben Got His Groove Back” Burger: makes 1 burger
2 oz. sirloin
2 oz. brisket
1 oz. chuck
1 Brioche bun
10,000 ISLAND DRESSING
1 c. mayo
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. mustard
1/8 c. Sriracha
2 oz. minced onion
1 c. minced sweet pickles
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 oz. sweet chili sauce
Kosher salt to taste – Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. For burger: Use a grind of sirloin, brisket, and chuck and form a loosely packed 5-oz. patty (too much handling changes the texture of the burger for the worse) and grill it to your desired temperature. Lightly butter a brioche bun and grill it on a flat grill or frying pan.
2. For 10,000 Island Dressing: Whisk together ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste. 3. Top the burger with 10,000 Island dressing (the addition of spicy Sriracha sauce bumps classic Thousand Island up to a high-wattage 10,000 Island version), cole slaw, and melted Swiss cheese.
Grilled Nectarine Salad with Candied Walnuts, Arugula, and Verjus Vinaigrette: serves 4
16 oz. arugula
12 oz. candied walnuts
VERJUS VINAIGRETTE (1 qt.)
1 c. verjus (the pressed juice of unripened grapes) reduced by half
1 shallot, minced (added to verjus during reduction)
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. dried mustard
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 c. grapeseed oil
1. For salad: Slice 4 nectarines in half, remove pits, lightly coat insides with grapeseed oil, and placeon grill until grill marks form. Flip over and mark the outsides as well.
2. For Verjus Vinaigrette: Whisk together ingredients in a bowl. 3. Toss arugula in verjus vinaigrette, plate, and top with candied walnuts and grilled nectarines. Recipe courtesy of Scott Guerin, a longtime chef at Evenfall and now at sauce.
Meyer Lemon Grilled Artichokes: serves 4
4 tbsp. olive oil, or enough to coat chokes
Salt and pepper
1. Clean 6 fresh artichokes by removing all the outer leaves and cutting off the top of the remaining leaves, use a potato peeler to take skin off stem, but don’t cut it off. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the spiny choke center. Immediately put in a bowl of water and lemon juice to prevent browning.
2. Steam for about 8 minutes and add to ice bath to stop cooking. Toss with enough olive oil to coat, and the salt and pepper. Grill on high heat for a few minutes, just long enough to start blackening them on each side slightly. Remove from grill and immediately squeeze lemon juice over the hot chokes. Season to taste.