Picture it’s Sunday night. 85 degrees. Too steamy to cook indoors. Too perfect a summer evening not to eat well.
An opportunity to work on this year’s summer resolution emerges: master the grill. Note: I have not fared so well with this in the past, though it did inspire a good life lesson: keep calm and carry rum.
Sunday it was me alone. With charcoal. A chimney starter. A few newspaper sheets. Fresh peaches. Rosemary-marinated portobellos. Some leftover garlic scapes. Poblanos. A flame-resistant oven mitt. And the Cat Stevens Pandora radio station, rooting me along.
I used to despise Sunday, its presence signaling the workweek ahead. But Sunday has become a favorite of mine. A day of no obligations. A day for sitting poolside and visiting antique shops. Or for an evening of cocktails on the patio, paired with slightly charred edibles. This is a day, my friends, not to be messed with.
So there I was, dark and stormy cocktail in one hand, tongs in the other: standing over a flaming grill. Cat Stevens had just finished singing about the very young. “You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while” he noted. Up next: Jim Croce, warning “You don’t mess around with Jim.” Life doesn’t get much better.
Taking heed from Cat and Jim, I've decided this summer the grill is mine. And getting a good handle on it is pretty satisfying, especially when it produces one of the best burgers I have ever had. Let me repeat, have ever had.
Now, I’m not a vegetarian. When the mood strikes, I love a good burger, but I'm going to be hard pressed to find a better summer sandwich. This little portobello number, with all its smoky fixings, is where it’s at. It was inspired by a fantastic blog filled with vegetarian recipes: Green Kitchen Stories. Vegetarians and meat eaters unite: this is the perfect burger for a balmy Sunday.
And Sundays are most definitely not to be messed. (Nor is an evening topped off with oldies music and washed down with Gosling’s Black Seal rum, for that matter.) As for the grill? If I could borrow from our pal, Jim:
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger.
And you don’t mess around with the grill.