A Review of The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

It’s hard to think of firing up the grill without also picturing hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks. However, “The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill,” written by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig turns this idea on its head.

Written by two women who love to garden in their homes, this book emphasizes using freshly picked fruits, vegetables, and herbs to create new and interesting meals and uses for the grill. It’s gardening tips are wonderful for both container gardeners and raised bed gardeners. However, even for people who don’t like to garden, this book is a wonderful departure from the traditional grilling cookbook. A quick trip to the farmers’ market or produce department at the grocery store is all that is necessary to toss something unexpected on the grill.

The book emphasizes using fresh local ingredients and putting a lot of color on the plate. One look at the incredible photography in this book, and these colorful and beautiful dishes practically leap off of the page. The cookbook has recipes that are easy to follow and most of them stick to a one page format, which eliminates the need to flip around while taking care of delicate vegetables on a hot grill. The grilling recipes will interest both novice and experienced grillers. There are plenty of simple uses for the grill as well as techniques for an expert, like planking, smoking, or grill roasting.

“The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill” encourages readers to use their grills all year long and not banish it to the garage as soon as the leaves start to turn. To bring the grill into the fall and winter, recipes like planked butternut squash and sage or grill baked apples with cinnamon nut stuffing are excellent recipes. The grill can be used to enjoy the bounty of all of the seasons. To bring your grill into the winter, the authors provide tips on preserving fruits and vegetables that can be used during cold winter months. Or they emphasize the different ways to grill breads for a perfect accompaniment to a hearty winter stew or tomato sauce. Bring the grill into the spring by grilling lettuces, like romaine or bok choy, and enjoy everything the summer has to offer by throwing it on the grill. This book even provides new and delicious dessert recipes made with grilled fruits.

One of the best parts of this book is all of the recipes for rubs and condiments. With these recipes, experienced and novice chefs alike can stock their grilling larders to season and enhance any meal that comes off the grill. Nothing enhances a grilled ear of corn like herb butter, and the green onion mayo is a wonderful springtime accompaniment to a number of dishes.

This book is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with new ways to use their grill and cook all the colorful and fresh fruits and veggies available throughout the year.