In the spirit of liberty and freedom, why not do both? That means brown sugar ribs, deliciously fatty, sweet and salty and open faced melted cheese sandwiches with shrimp for a lighter but no less finger-licking-food entree with tossed arugula and homemade crouton salad and end of the season sautéed asparagus for greens.
And, because the farmers market is filled with delicious berries and fruit, for dessert have a fresh fruit salad with blue berries, freshly picked strawberries, ripe yellow peaches and dark purple pluots.
The good news, none of these dishes take much time to prepare and they all work beautifully in the backyard or packed in a picnic basket.
Open Faced Cheese Sandwiches with Grilled Shrimp
2 large slices of white or whole wheat French bread or 4 smaller slices of bread/person
16 medium, raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, washed and pat dried
1/2 pound white cheese (Comte, cheddar or Monterey Jack), thin sliced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon mustard (deli, dijon or brown) (optional)
Sesame seeds, roasted (optional)
2 tablespoons scallions, white and yellow parts, thin sliced (optional)
Heat a bbq grill. Toss the shrimp in the olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and pepper. Grill evenly one minute on both sides to get light charring. Remove.
Lightly toast the bread. I prefer thin slices so the cheese and shrimp predominate. Line up the slices and prepare them assembly line style. If you like mustard, spread a thin layer on the bottom of each toast, topped with 2-4 shrimp, depending on the size of the slice.
Lay thin sheets of cheese over the shrimp and for added flavor sprinkle sesame seeds and/or scallions on top.
Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 F degrees. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil or a silpat sheet on the bottom of a cookie sheet. Place the open-faced sandwiches on top. Place into the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
For a beautiful crusty finish, raise the temperature of the oven to broil and cook until the cheese lightly bubbles and browns. Be careful not to burn.
Remove from the oven and serve. If transporting to a picnic, let cool on a wire rack, pack in an airtight container with sheets of waxed paper between layers. Do not refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.
Instead of mustard use remoulade sauce or mayonnaise
Dust the shrimp with cayenne for added heat
After the shrimp are grilled, toss with 1 tablespoon finely chopped mango chutney
Brown Sugar Pork Ribs