Test Kitchen

Spring-ish Barbecue

Spring is a tricky time to plan menus as the weather varies, the farmers’ markets are still minimally stocked. At the same time, the weather is warming up, especially in the south, and everyone is itching to be outside and get the summer menus going.

Here is a midway menu to get you through the pre-spring entertaining game.


  • 12 ounces of yellow and red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup basil, finely chopped and 2 tablespoons for the cheese mix
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 3 tablespoons, separated
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese at room temperature
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 8 ounces of feta cheese at room temperature
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crostini that you can either bake or toast on the grille 

Making It

  • Take the chopped tomatoes and lightly slat them with about a teaspoon of salt, mix around and put in a colander so the juice drains for an hour
  • Mix the tomatoes with the red onion, basil, 1/4 cup of the. olive oil, sherry and let the flavors blend, then salt and pepper to taste, you might not need any salt
  • Make the Crostini and let cool
  • In a food processor fitted with a steal blade put in the three cheeses, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of basil, lemon juice and pulse until thoroughly combine
  • Spread the Cheese mix on the crostini and top with the tomato mix then serve

We kick off Spring cooking in early March on Sullivan’s Island as the weather really turns the corner. Is is also the same time when the Charleston Wine & Food weekend attracts friends from near and far to come to Charleston to sample some of the best foods from all over the south.

After you get the drinks flowing and people are ready to eat, I like to do a simple curried pasta and lamb or beef (you pick) kafta served with homemade tzatziki .

You can make all three of the above well in advance and all you need to do is grill the kaftas, add to the buffet table and you have a complete meal ready to go that are packed with flavor and are perfect for the season.

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We were in Istanbul for our friend Mohammed’s wedding and had plenty of time to explore the amazing food markets of Turkey.  We had lunch right near the famous spice market and had the most amazing Lamb Kaftas that varied from the traditional preparation at most spots around the world.  I have since tried to…

Tzatziki with Fresh Herbs

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1 comment on “Spring-ish Barbecue

  1. Pingback: Spring-ish Barbecue — Cooking Conveniently and with Purpose #LPBcooks | My Meals are on Wheels

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