Always Free Ground Shipping

Garden Party Grilling: The Hungry Gardener Grills Summer Veggies

August 28, 2017

Garden Party Grilling:  The Hungry Gardener Grills Summer Veggies


It's true, we love our table settings and  Talavera pottery around here.  But let's face it; a plate is only as good as the delicious food it's serving up.  So, let's talk about making your tableware as happy as your taste buds.

We're happy to treat you to a how-to look at great summer grilling from internationally-applauded The Hungry Gardener:


 Rustica Gift & Talavera Pottery Summer Grill Party how to grill veggies

Turning Fresh Veggies into Delicious Grill:  The Hungry Gardener Showed Us How! 


Vern Nelson, aka The Hungry Gardener, is an internationally-known gardener, journalist, expert chef and five star AirBnB Urban Farm Super Host.  His career spans decades, and includes award-winning writing as the gardening expert and columnist at The Oregonian, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper serving the Pacific Northwest.

He agreed to host a how-to grilling class, with a focus on Summer's fresh veggie garden bounty.  He even donated class costs to his favorite non-profit, the Sunshine Pantry.  

An event that was as good for others as it was for our happy taste buds! 

Rustica Gift & Talavera Pottery The Hungry Gardener Grilling Secrets


Vern filled us in on his top three grilling success secrets.  The number one priority for Verne is the grill.  Food quality and recipes are important, but without great grilling mojo, your outdoor feast may very well flop.

A little preparation and strategy with your grill will get you 90% of the way towards a deliciously divine grill experience.  His key tips:

  • Start the fire early:  It's much easier to keep a fire simmering for a couple hours then to try and frantically huff, puff, or cool down a flame that hasn't had time to season.  Start your grill fire early, and let it settle into a nice, hot, even bed of chunky hard wood pieces.
  • Fresh hard wood:  Using fresh hard wood pieces of varying sizes makes for a better fire.  Avoid things such as pine or spruce or other conifer woods, as the pitch in the wood will create some bittterness. You'll get a smoky effect that delivers a nice, juicy grilled gourmet item.  Vern's pro tip:  if you can get his favorite, cherry wood, do that!  If not, get some wood pieces you can stick in a bucket to hydrate, so you can add some smoke to the fire towards the end of the grilling.
  • The salad bowl trick:  Find an old steel salad bowl (large enough to cover what you are grilling), and place that over the items.  It will keep heat and moisture in, creating evenly-cooked food that is divinely smokey, flavorful, and faster cooking.  This will reduce the chance of your dinner drying out. Vern's second pro move:  have a pair of tongs handy. You'll use them to lift the lip of the salad bowl off the grill; it's going to be hot!

Ondo Authentic Mexican Talavera Pottery Rustica Gift & Pottery the Hungry Gardener Grilling Class

A  Mexican Talavera Platter from Ondo Collection was just the right size to contain all the veggie goodness! 

Vern had some words of wisdom for us, the non-official Great Grilling Adventure Group:

Keep it simple.

His preferred flavorings for the grill?  A big bottle of quality virgin olive oil, and some coarse sea salt.  

Let the flavor of fresh ingredients shine through.  Combine the wood grill goodness with some olive oil, coarse sea salt, and a final pro tip, sprinkle some fresh, coarsely-ground, Tellicherry peppercorns.  Incredible! - The Hungry Gardener

 Rustica Gift & Talavera Pottery and The Hungry Gardener Veggie Grilling Class Gang

Veggie Grilling Buddies


Let's face it, there was simply no way to improve on the taste of crisp fresh veggies, grilled al fresco on a beautiful summer evening.  But, to make sure not one moment of the magic goes to waste, be sure to invite a couple of friends along to join the fun.

Questions?  Visit The Hungry Gardener,  or email:  

Vern is happy to help!




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Rustica Recipe: LIfe Well Lived

Weaving a Rich Travel Tapestry of Culture and Connection
Weaving a Rich Travel Tapestry of Culture and Connection

February 20, 2018

Let us introduce you to the travel world’s zen spirit of fun-filled, compassionate adventure:  Patricia Andersson, founder of Heartfire Journeys. a specialist in the art of introducing women to the world of rich cultural travel.

View full article →

Serendipity Bauer Hall Pottery Perfect Partners with Talavera
Serendipity Bauer Hall Pottery Perfect Partners with Talavera

February 18, 2018

 What's even better than an armful of Bauer and Hall vintage pottery loot at the end of a swell Saturday shopping adventure?  Discovering that those richly glazed pottery pieces are a perfect match for just about every one of our Rustica Gift Talavera pottery pieces.

View full article →

Rustica Gift Visits Ambelonas Winery of Corfu, Greece
Rustica Gift Visits Ambelonas Winery of Corfu, Greece

January 30, 2018

Ambelonas Winery.  What a vivid, delicious and extraordinarily hospital introduction to the sustainable viniculture, food and history.  While we were on the artisan pottery and handcraft hunt among Corfu, Greece's richly talented artistic community, we couldn't resist a visit to this beautiful and historic winery. 

View full article →