By Addie Broyles
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Memorial Day weekend is the debut of grilling season for much of the country.
I usually keep things super simple when I grill - sausages, skirt steak, ribeye steaks, hamburgers, chicken breasts, etc. - but because I hate wasting heat from those precious ash-covered charcoal briquettes, I usually throw on some kind of side dish: asparagus, broccolini, peppers, sweet potatoes or even thick slices of sourdough, which easily pick up the smokiness of the grill.
Matt Moore takes this less-is-more strategy and throws it over the back fence. The Nashville-based author has written four cookbooks, including the recently published "Serial Griller" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.99), which is packed with ideas to help you learn how to be a more confident griller and also top-notch tips and recipe ideas if you're already a master.
Grilled Brussels Sprout-Feta Salad with Smoked Olive Oil Vinaigrette
1/2 cup cherrywood chips
2 cups olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
4 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
16 large lacinato kale leaves (from 1 bunch)
1 large lemon, cut crosswise into 10 rounds and seeded
1 cup diagonally sliced celery (from 2 stalks)
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
Soak the wood chips in water for 20 minutes; drain. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled one-quarter full with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them on the bottom grate of the grill. Scatter soaked wood chips over the hot coals. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of about 200 degrees. (If using a gas grill, place soaked wood chips in an aluminum foil packet; poke several holes in the packet. Place the packet directly on burners; heat to very low, about 200 degrees.)
Pour the oil into a disposable aluminum pan and place on the unoiled grates. Smoke the oil, covered, until it has a smoky flavor, about 3 hours. Remove from the grill. (If using a gas grill, discard the packet with the wood chips.)
Whisk together 3 tablespoons of the smoked oil, the lemon juice, honey, mustard, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl until combined. (Reserve remaining smoked oil for another use.) Set the dressing aside.
Refill the charcoal chimney starter with briquettes and light. When the briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them on the bottom grate of the grill. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400 to 450 degrees. Coat the top grate with oil; place on the grill. (If using a gas grill, heat to medium-high.)
Place the Brussels sprouts on the oiled grates. Grill, covered and turning occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the grill. Place the kale leaves on the grates; grill, uncovered, until charred on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the grill. Carefully place the lemon slices on the grates; grill, uncovered, until charred on one side, about 2 minutes. Remove from the grill.
Remove and discard the stems from the kale leaves and coarsely chop the leaves. Toss together the chopped kale leaves, Brussels sprouts, celery, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the smoked oil dressing and toss to coat. Arrange the mixture on a serving platter, top with the lemon slices and sprinkle with the feta. Serves 4.
- From "Serial Griller: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection" by Matt Moore (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.99)
Addie Broyles writes about food for the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, Texas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @broylesa