Chillin’ out with friends around the barbecue. Ain’t it the life!

At the Monroe Farmers Market we have lots of stuff to make your 4th of July grill-ebration a hit. We have pork and chicken, and lots of fresh veggies for the grill. And plenty of fixins for cold salads.


So what can put your cookin’ over the top? Really good marinades and sauces, that’s what.

Here’s a great marinade that can be turned into a delicious barbecue sauce:

1 Tb XV Olive Oil
2 Onions, peeled & chopped
1/3 C Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 Beef Bouillon Cube
1 C Shawnee Ale or Red Wine
2 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tb each Fresh Thyme & Fresh Summer Savory
1 tsp each Fresh Marjoram & Sage
1/4 tsp Ground Fenugreek or Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tb Sugar
3-4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1/4 C Rolling Hills Honey Garlic Vinegar
1 C Salad or Olive Oil

Heat 1 Tb olive oil over moderate heat in a sauté pan, add the onions and cook till dark brown, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to food processor with all other ingredients except the cup of oil. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream to make an emulsion. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Use this sauce to marinate steaks, chops & chicken, or add it to ground beef for different and delicious hamburgers.

To turn this into a barbecue sauce, substitute 1 C ketchup, 1/2 C brown sugar, and 1/2 C red wine vinegar for the salad oil. You can add a drop or two of liquid smoke and hot sauce if you like. Process till smooth, keep refrigerated for up to a week, covered.

Now here’s a fantastic marinade for grilled vegetables:

1/2 C Rolling Hills Garlic Vinegar
1/2 Bunch Scallions
2 Tb Sugar
1 Tb Salt
2 Tb Lemon Juice
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tb Dijon Mustard
1 C Salad or Olive Oil

Place all ingredients except oil in food processor. Turn motor on and add the oil in a thin stream to emulsify it. Keep covered in the fridge for up to a week.

Okay, now here’s the cool part. Go to the Monroe Farmers Market and buy plenty of fresh veggies. When you get home, peel the carrots and cut them up. Blanch them if you want them more tender. Slice your mushrooms, slice your squash and zucchini. Tear up the spinach leaves and wash them. You get the idea. When you’re done with your prep, toss everything together with the marinade and refrigerate overnight.

Next day dump the veggies into a colander set over a bowl to catch the juice. Save that juice!

Place a vegetable screen on your pre-heated grill and char the marinated veggies in batches. Make them as light or dark as you like. Transfer them to that reserved juice as they come hot off the grill.

You can serve them hot, or serve them chilled. Got a crowd to feed? Chill them, boil up some tri-color rotini and chill that too. Fold everything together for a really delicious cold salad.

So there you have it! You can make these up days in advance to make your Independence Day a breeze!