It's officially that time of year. Time for grilling and eating your greens and all the other spring things. After a season full of the most comfiest comfort foods (I'm looking at you pizzas, pasta, cheese, bread, and casseroles), I'm more than ready to say sayonara to my winter diet. I mean, here's the deal. I love comfort foods almost more than life itself, but no matter how cheesy, warm and delicious they are, they still don't beat the fresh flavors and produce of spring.
Winter wasn't particularly brutal this year (especially since I was lucky enough to escape to warmer climates for a huge part of it), but I have never been more ready for the fresh flavors of spring. Salads, snap peas, asparagus, herbs on literally every.single.thing. And then there's all the grilled food. I remember, just a few weeks ago, when I was out for a late afternoon walk and I smelled it, the first grill session of the season. My mouth immediately began to water and I quickly rerouted my walk from the park to the grocery store (I didn't really need a workout anyways, right?!) to pick up some grilling essentials. I swear, there's nothing quite as good as the way grilling smells and grilled food tastes. Absolute warm-weather food heaven.
One of the easiest way to jump back into grilling season and embrace all the fresh flavors and produce is with skewers or kebabs. It should come as no surprise that I've been making mine with alllllllll my favorite springs greens (+ other yummy things, of course). While you might normally think to put heartier vegetables onto kebabs, I've been piling my skewers with things lighter spring greens such as leeks, asparagus and peas. To add protein, I've also been including pieces of Shady Brook Farms Lean Turkey Sausage (you could also use pieces of turkey breast, but I find the sausages to be just a bit faster and easier to cut up, making meal prep a breeze so you can move on to more important things, like eating). Whether you use the spicy or sweet (my favorite) Italian flavors, both are perfectly seasoned for grilling and, even better, they both adhere to Shady Brook Farms core values- no added hormones or steroids and no growth-promoting antibiotics used. And, as always, the turkeys used are raised on one of over 700 independent family farms (My package was sourced from Glenmary Farms.). Because you already know I can't get enough spring greens in my life, I also made an herb-filled dipping sauce to drizzle and dip these skewers to your hearts content.
These spring greens & turkey sausage skewers are perfect all on their own, or, they'd also work well as an appetizer, or, paired with a salad and something like quinoa or rice for a bit heartier of a meal.
What's one of your favorite spring flavors and/or favorite things to grill during this season?
SPRING GREENS & TURKEY SAUSAGE SKEWERS
yields 8 skewers
1 package Shady Brook Farms Sweet or Spicy Italian Sausage
1/3 pound asparagus stalks, cut into thirds
3 leeks, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup sugar or snap peas
HERB DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 packed cup fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh sage
5 stalks fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
A large pinch of granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 large clove of a garlic (or 2 small cloves)
First, cut each sausage link into 5 or 6 pieces, removing the casing as you cut.
Assemble the skewers, alternating between pieces of asparagus, leeks, peas and sausage, until you've used all the ingredients up. FYI, you may have to slightly mold the meat to the skewer as it can lose its shape without the casing.
Lay the skewers on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill on high heat until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees (this can take anywhere from 18-25 minutes depending on your grill). Alternatively, if you don't have a grill, you can bake the skewers, directly on the baking sheet, at 400 degrees, for about 20-25 minutes (or, again, until the meat reaches 165 degrees), rotating the skewers half way through.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by pureeing all the ingredients in a cuisinart for about 60 seconds, or until smooth and well blended.
Serve the skewers and sauce immediately. Leftovers can be stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Created in partnership with Shady Brook Farms. All opinions are my own.