Chef Azmin Ghahreman, founder of Sapphire Laguna restaurant, offers a handful of tips for a Labor Day barbecue.
Versatile vinaigrette: Use this vinaigrette as salad dressing, to marinate pork, chicken or steak to add more flavor. Brush on fresh vegetables before grilling. Chop any leftover grilled vegetables into small pieces and mix with the vinaigrette to make a condiment for grilled fish or meat. Keeps refrigerated for up to a week: shake it up well before using, because olive oil will solidify in the fridge.
Basic recipe: good red wine vinegar and olive oil (1 part vinegar/ 3 parts olive oil), onion, garlic, basil
Instead of buying fresh herbs every time you cook, keep some basics, like basil, thyme, chives and mint plants in containers. Peel and puree some garlic with olive oil, freeze it in ice cube trays and use as needed.
Try grilling artichokes: cut off the tops and stems, cut in half vertically, remove all the “hair”, drizzle with orange or lemon juice and olive oil.
Salmon burgers are a good way to cut back on the red meat and get a good serving or two of fish. Mix some Greek yoghurt with lemon juice, chopped dill, mint, shallots, cucumber and garlic, spread this mixture on top of your salmon burger – good with or without the bun.
Sweeten up your salad by adding fresh strawberries or apricots from a local fruit stand to your tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and radishes. Make that salad into a meal by topping it with goat cheese, or add almonds or nuts such as cashews, pecans, or walnuts to provide proteins and good fats. Added fun: a garnish of edible flowers (squash blossoms, nasturtium and pansies)