Here Comes Summer: Grilled Sausage Kabobs with Farro “Risotto”

Looking out over our balcony, I get the feeling that we are inching ever closer to summer. Trees are now wearing lush green headdresses instead of sparse crowns of twigs. The grass is green and thanks to the gardeners always cut and lush. (the hubby has gone on record as not missing mowing in the least).

I’ve even ventured into the suburban farmer’s life by planting some things in our complex’s community garden. This large plot has been adopted by a dear woman named Lois. She is in her sophomore year in the garden and has sown quite an impressive variety of seeds, My meager contribution of tomatoes, peppers, spaghetti squash, and zucchini joined beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, and a mind-boggling variety of lettuce and greens.

DIGITAL CAMERAWhile it is little more than a rectangle of dirt with colorful signs and a few sprouts, our typical weather pattern of rain and sun will transform it into something green, beautiful, and delicious in the coming weeks. I can hardly wait!

Our little grill on the balcony has been seeing a lot of action lately as we take advantage of the warmer weather. We are also experimenting to learn what it does best. These kabobs were a major success. Pre-cooked sausage and quick cooking veggies were the perfect match-up for the grill’s moderate heating abilities. Everything cooked together and there was even a distinct taste of the grill.

DIGITAL CAMERAThis dinner was a raid on the pantry, freezer and fridge. The variousDIGITAL CAMERA packages traveled from their homes and converged on the counter in vivid array. Mini tomatoes, crimini mushrooms, and zucchini joined red onion to create the kabobs. Farro, frozen chopped spinach, and roasted red peppers were simmered with chicken stock and garlic to create a toothsome side dish reminiscent of risotto. These simple ingredients resulted in 3 generous servings that made a wonderful dinner for two and a spectacular lunch for the cook.

The veggies marinated for the better part of the day in a simple vinaigrette. They joined the pre-cooked chicken sausage to create a patchwork quilt of colors on the skewers.

DIGITAL CAMERAThese took only a few minutes to cook so they waited in the wings while I made the farro. I’ve shared several farro adventures already and you know that it is one of my current favorites. This time I treated it like risotto. I sautéed it in some olive oil with a very generous amount of garlic then gradually added stock. I added spinach and roasted red peppers, both from the freezer. The whole process took about 35 minutes which as we all know is about the right amount of time to enjoy a glass of wine.

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So, the kabobs took 20 minutes on the grill where they were frequently turned with love and basted with the vegetable marinade. Everything came together beautifully; a colorful and healthy dinner that hinted at the delights summer will soon deliver. I’m already looking forward to making this again, with a few homegrown veggies of my own.

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Grilled Chicken Sausage Kabobs with Farro Risotto
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Grilled Chicken Sausage Kabobs with Farro Risotto
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Sausage Kabobs
Farro Risotto
Servings:
Instructions
Chicken Kabobs
  1. Combine the zucchini, whole tomatoes, onions, and whole mushrooms in a large container. You can use a skewer to create a "pilot hole" in the vegetables. This may help the marinade to penetrate more as well as make skewering easier later.
  2. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, chili flakes, herbs, and salt. Cover tightly and shake to completely blend.
  3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Toss to coat and store covered in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and as long as overnight.
  4. When you are ready to assemble the kabobs, slice the sausage into 1 inch chunks. Remove the vegetables from the marinade with a slotted spoon. Save the dressing to baste with later.
  5. Skewer the sausage and vegetables in random order. (Don't worry about a pattern unless that's your thing).
  6. Heat the grill to high ( or as high as it will go) and lightly coat with grill spray. Place the skewers on the grill and brush with the reserved dressing.
  7. Continue to grill, turn, and baste until everything is beginning to brown. This will take 15 - 20 minutes depending on the heat of your grill.
  8. Remove the kabobs from the grill and carefully slide the meat and veggies off the skewer.
Farro Risotto
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan, swirling to coat the bottom. Add the farro and cook for 5 minutes or so until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so.
  2. Add the vermouth (or dry white wine) and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Most of the wine should evaporate.
  3. Add the spinach and about 1 cup of the stock. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently until most of the stock has been absorbed.
  4. Add the red pepper and another cup of stock. Continue the simmering process allowing the stock to be absorbed.
  5. Give the farro a taste at this point. If you like the texture, it's done. If you like it softer, add a little more stock and continue to cook until the texture makes you happy.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to your taste and serve it with the kabobs.
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