CSA Merrimack Valley – Grilling Greens ( Part 1 )

July and August are typically the peak months of fresh local produce in New England. Finding unique ways to prepare the variety of greens, carrots, squash, zucchini, eggplant, corn and other vegetables can be challenging. 

Enter the grill. Summer in New England means outdoor cooking, which has the added benefit of keeping your kitchen cool. Whether you are cooking on a charcoal, propane or wood fire, preparing vegetables over an open flame offers a tasty alternative to the boiling, steaming and roasting methods usually relied upon for vegetable cookery.

The following recipe offers a new take on preparing your vegetables outdoors, including grilling your picnic-table salads. Take a risk and grill that kale!   


Start to finish: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 4

1 large bunch of kale
2 large ears of sweet corn

1 small sweet onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Photo by Kevin Harkins.


1. Preheat your grill to a high temperature. Wash the kale and trim the woody ends, leaving the leaves whole. Peel the corn, removing as much corn silk as possible. 

2. Place the corncobs on a very hot grill and cook until slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Set the corn aside on a plate to cool. 

3. Place the kale leaves on the grill and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes. Set aside. 

4. For the dressing, finely slice the onion and place in a small bowl. Add in a sprinkle of salt and a dash of pepper. Add the vinegar and mustard. Stir to combine. Slowly whisk in the oil. 

5. Place the corncobs upright on the plate and slice off the kernels. Place the kernels in your salad bowl and add the onion dressing. Mix well to combine. 

6. Slice the kale in long, thin ribbons and add them to the salad bowl. Toss well to combine. 

Note: This salad pairs well with grilled fish or crusty grilled bread.


Check back for more recipes from Christopher and Marc.


Photo by Kevin Harkins.

While working for Mill City Grows, Christopher Horne was a FoodCorps service member and taught gardening and cooking classes to Lowell students. In 2017, Christopher graduated from The Farm School’s learn-to-farm program and now runs a half-acre market garden business that offers a small CSA service. He sells his produce to local restaurants in the Merrimack Valley area. Learn more at HorneFarms.com.

Marc Horne is a lifelong Lowell resident. He works as a community development professional, developing affordable housing in the Merrimack Valley for nonprofit organizations. Marc also assists his brother, Christopher, with farming operations at Horne Family Farms in any way he can. His personal interests are strongly centered on food and the natural environment, especially cooking family dinners with local agricultural products.


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