As Memorial Day is here it’s time to dust off those grills and get ready to host the perfect Bay Area backyard party. With our area’s diverse range of flavors and fresh ingredients, you can create a Memorial Day feast that will leave your guests asking for more.
Here are five amazing local items that you can feature on your grill this year.
1. Dungeness Crab
Dungeness crabs are a Bay Area delicacy that peaks during the spring months. Freshly caught from the Pacific Ocean, these crabs have a sweet, tender flesh that pairs perfectly with a simple grilling preparation. Brush them with a garlic-butter glaze, then grill until the shells turn bright orange. Pair with a local Sauvignon Blanc for an ultimate Bay Area feast.
This year, the crab season ended early, so it might be hard to find crabs. Substitute snow crabs for a tasty alternative.
2. Artichokes from Castroville
Known as the “Artichoke Center of the World,” Castroville, located in Monterey County, offers artichokes that are a cut above the rest. You can get them at many local supermarkets and farmer’s markets.
Try grilling these beauties for a unique and local side dish. Halve them, boil briefly, and then grill to give them a smoky edge. Serve with a tangy aioli or a squeeze of fresh Meyer lemon for a zesty kick.
3. Steaks from Flannery Beef
You simply can’t host a California grilling event without serving some local steak. Flannery Beef in San Rafael makes the best hangar steak I’ve tried. Bay Area chefs love this cut because it’s fattier and more flavorful than the tender-but-less-interesting filet mignon.
Slice it thin!
4. Grilled Sweet Peppers or Corn from Brentwood
Take advantage of the fresh produce that the Bay Area is known for by grilling sweet peppers from Brentwood. These peppers add a burst of color and flavor to any grill. Stuff them with goat cheese from a local creamery and a sprinkle of fresh herbs before grilling for a scrumptious, melty side dish.
5. Grilled Stone Fruit Dessert
And for dessert? Look no further than the abundant stone fruit – peaches, plums, apricots – that come to season in late spring and early summer in the Bay Area. Grilling these fruits caramelizes their sugars and enhances their sweet, juicy flavors.
Serve atop a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream, perhaps from the famous Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco or Double Rainbow creamery, and you have the perfect sweet ending to your Memorial Day meal.
As you prepare for your Memorial Day celebrations, let the incredible range of local flavors inspire you. The Bay Area is home to a variety of unique, high-quality ingredients, so make sure to take advantage of them when planning your grilling menu. No matter what you serve, remember to enjoy the day, the delicious food, and, most importantly, the wonderful company. Happy grilling, Bay Area!