It was an absolutely gorgeous day here yesterday and, dare I say it, it looks like summer might have finally arrived here on the Rock! Two summery days in a row was all it took to convince me it was finally warm enough to weed the flower beds in front of my house, plant some new ones and spread red cedar mulch around - pretty the place up a bit.
It was 4:30 when I realized I hadn't t given any consideration on what to make for supper and didn't have time to dilly dally because we had to be out of the house again by 7pm for another commitment. What to make? More importantly, what to make fast and delicious with a minimal amount of time for prepping and cooking?
My solution? Grilled German sausage topped with a yummy Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Relish. With this relish, you don't even need any other condiments, although, if you want to spice it up a bit, top the relish with some pickled hot peppers like my husband does - that'd do the trick! Two of those puppies each and we were all sufficiently nourished. I had made a batch of maple bourbon bbq sauce about 2 weeks ago, so I used that as my bbq sauce.
The entire process, from starting the bbq to serving the grilled sausages with the heirloom tomato and avocado relish took approximately 20 minutes. When I placed the food on the table my husband said, 'It never ceases to amaze me how you can make even something so simple as barbecued hot dogs into a gourmet meal." (I'll take that as a compliment!)
The first step is to preheat the grill. I only heat up one side of the grill on high heat, and leave the other side off. While the grill was heating, I made my Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Relish.
To make the relish, you'll need:
2 Heirloom Tomatoes, (or green tomatoes if you prefer), diced finely
1 avocado, peeled and pitted, diced finely
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. grainy mustard
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or honey if you don't have any maple syrup on hand)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and it's ready to use. Now back to the sausages: place the sausages on the heated side of the grill, about 3 minutes per side, until both sides have those beautiful char marks. Baste with bbq sauce, and then move the sausages to the unheated side of the grill, keeping the flame going on the other side. Baste sausages as desiered, turn after 5 minutes or so, and repeat. The indirect heat from the side of the grill that is on will cook the sausages through. When done, place sausages in hot dog rolls of choice, and serve - it's really that simple!
In an earlier blog, I've touted the benefits of avocado, but humour me for a moment while I give somewhat equal tribute to tomatoes and apple cider vinegar. Tomatoes are extraordinarily high in lycopene, a carotenoid with significant antioxidative properties linked to bone health, and they have long been linked to heart health because it lowers overall cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides. If you read my blog on avocados, you already know that eating avocado with tomatoes would increase you absorption of cartoenoids by 200-400%!
As for apple cider vinegar, well, vinegar has been used as an ancient folk remedy for centuries, believed to treat just about every ailment known to man. It has been used for everything from pickling, killing weeds, cleaning coffee machines, dressing salads and even polishing armor! However, many of the folk medicine uses of vinegar are either unproven or have been disproved altogether, with the exception of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has been singled out as being an especially helpful health tonic, with studies indicating that apple cider vinegar could help with several conditions, including diabetes and obesity. That being the case, you can find apple cider vinegar in both the condiment and health supplement aisles of your grocery store.
On the back of a box of apple cider supplements, you'll find some amazing claims: it is purported to treat numerous conditions, including kill head lice, reverse aging, ease digestion and wash toxins from your body. Studies are ongoing in this respect but what is evident is that apple cider vinegar may indeed have significant health benefits and it certainly can't hurt!
All that having been said, my Heirlloom Tomato and Avocado Relish brings a significant health boost to just about anything you can throw on the grill - hot dogs, hamburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts and even steak! To further zest it all up, try my Maple Bourbon BBQ sauce, the recipe for which can be found under 'Everything Else' in the recipe section from the navigation bar above!