“And what will you have?” The waiter indicated to me with a nod of his head and lift of his eyebrow as he scribbled with his pencil.
“I was wondering about this ‘Grilled Caesar Salad’ — what’s on it that’s grilled? Shrimp?”
“No, it’s a grilled salad.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
Such was my confusion upon being first offered a grilled Caesar salad while on a vacation in the Florida Keys some years ago. When the server delivered my “grilled salad” 20 minutes later, I could hardly believe it — what a novel idea to slice a head of romaine lettuce in half, crisp it on the grill, and then dress it up with all the usual salad fixings! My family has since reproduced this simple sensation many times, and it is always a crowd pleaser.
Grilled food is truly the taste of summer — from juicy cuts of meat to fresh vegetables. As temperatures begin to drop before the sun sets, going on a walk and smelling a neighbor’s grilled fixings in the works is the epitome of a summer evening. Returning home to your own grilled feast is even better. Read Helen Dennis’ article on page 76 for ideas on spicing up your grill this summer with salads and shish kebabs!
Hand in hand with grilling is the joy of eating outside. I absolutely love it. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of going on family picnics; the clock takes a back seat as the group is allowed the rare opportunity to comfortably linger over the meal, nibbling here and there, chatting, lying in the sun, or getting up to throw a frisbee. It’s the true essence of conviviality over a shared meal.
This year, picnics assume a much more practical flavor as one of the only safe options for entertaining and sharing a meal with those we love. From a simple picnic in the backyard to more elaborate spreads in exotic locales, Melanie Crawford has menus and ideas for them all on page 64.
We also feature our annual Restaurant Guide in this issue on page 112. We at CMM are so proud of Columbia’s restaurants for weathering the past few months and applaud their efforts to continue serving the community under these changed circumstances. Be sure to check before you go for the latest updates on that restaurant’s hours and offerings.
Wherever your meal takes you, we wish you an utterly delicious last month of summer this August.