Summer officially starts this week with the solstice occurring at 12:24am Wednesday. Who’s ready?
After the freezing cold winter we had in the Northeastern US, I’m looking forward to spending some time at the beach and cooking on the grill (except I don’t actually own a grill…it’s on my wish list). My family is helping me kick off this awesome season with this week’s pairing!
I’m spending some time in Stone Harbor NJ this week and while there I stopped into Fred’s Tavern and Liquor Store (an institution on the island) to pick up some local beer. I spotted Double Nickel Brewing Company’s Laid-Back and thought it sounded prefect for a week at the beach.
Do how does it measure up?
Style: Lager with 5.3% alc/vol
Color: Medium yellow
Aroma: More or less like a standard lager
Taste: Smooth with only a hint of the sweet summer melon mentioned on the can and has a little bit of a bitter finish on the back of the tongue.
Level of Recommendation: It’s got the right attitude for the beach.
Get your grill ready! It might be a good idea to make this with some help. I’d just like to thank my aunt and sister for all the help they gave me while creating this dish.
So, here’s what you’ll need:
- Sweet Italian Sausages
- Green and yellow zucchini
- Roma tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Fresh basil (for garnish)
You’ll want to set up your grill first. Once you’ve it going, wrap the garlic up in aluminum foil and place on the grill. The garlic will be on the grill the whole time you are grilling (roughly 45 minutes).
Cut the zucchini lengthwise. Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on the cut veggies. Place on the grill for about 10-12 minutes (turning once) or until the zucchini is soft and you have a nice char.
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and place directly on the grill after you remove the zucchini. Allow to grill for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft, but not falling apart. Remove from grill and keep all of your veggies covered so they stay warm.
While the tomatoes are on the grill, start working on making your pasta. Follow the directions on the box or cook to your preference.
Now place the sausages on the grill. Allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once so they are evenly cooked and get a slight char.
Remove sausages and garlic from the grill. Chop up the sausages, tomatoes, and zucchini into chunks. Off to the side, finely chop the basil to garnish.
By now your pasta should be finished cooking. Toss with olive oil and grilled garlic (the garlic will just slide right out of its casing and is very easy to crush). Add in the veggies and sausages. Continue to toss until everything is well mixed.
Top with basil and enjoy!
Everything is very light and summery. The grilled veggies help to tone down the bitterness of the beer and bring out a little more of the sweetness. The sausage is a little spicy and adds a nice kick to the palate. It works well together.
Level of Recommendation: It’s the ready to kick off a relaxing summer pairing!