A Summer Dinner | Grilled Italian Sausage Brochettes with Parmesan Zucchini

Olivari Olive Oil is celebrating "One Year of Little". Visit their Facebook page to learn why the little things are everything.

I love summer dinners with all the fresh produce around, and especially in our area because we are lucky enough to still be in the city, yet our borders are farm land and we can literally walk in two directions to local farmers and their abundant fruit and veggie stands. And right now the local produce is so amazing.

It's really a treat and the berries are so delicious right now. Our summer dinners usually involve at least some fresh produce, be it vegetables or fruit, and cooking them and eating them outside just makes them that more delicious. It's the little things like this that I love about summer.

I thought I'd share with you a summer dinner idea that we love and make rather frequently. We love cooking on the barbecue (we just have a little portable so we can hike it with us to the beach), and I especially love creating different types of brochettes. I find sometimes meat can get a little tough when grilling small pieces but these brochettes are juicy and tender. I compliment them with my super-easy parmesan zucchini boats. I've been making them for years and together they make for a satisfying weekday dinner that isn't too much fuss and even our son loves to eat. Here's the simple instructions:

Grilled Italian Sausage Brochette with Parmesan Zucchini

Serves 4

4 or 5 Mild Italian Sausages
half a red onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
metal or wooden skewers
Barbeque Sauce (ingredients below)

Parmesan Zucchini
4 zucchini (sliced lengthwise)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesean shakey cheese
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
black freshly ground pepper to taste

Barbecue Sauce (I usually double this)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp of mustard
1 tsp of vinegar or pickle juice
1 heaping tbsp of brown sugar
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp of water

To make the barbeque sauce: This is my grandmother's recipe and it's one of those recipes where you sort of just add and taste, but this is the base of it. Mix all ingredients together and taste. Adjust sweetness or sour by adding more sugar or more vinegar.

To make the brochettes: If you have wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for a few hours so they don't burn when cooking. Cut the sausage in half, and cut the onions and peppers to be about the same size as the sausage (2 inches wide approx). Alternate sausage, onion, pepper until one sausage is on one skewer. Continue with the other four. Then baste the brochettes with barbecue sauce. Marinate for at least 1 hour. Place on grill and cook for approx 5-7 min on each side being careful not to burn the veggies. Just flip more often if you see them burning. Cook when temperature reads at least 180 degrees internally.

To make the Zucchini: Slice zucchini lengthwise and brush on olive oil on the open sides. Sprinkle each one with parmesan cheese and the Herbs de Provence and pepper to taste. Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (These are so delicious)!

And for dessert?

Fresh berries of course!

Olivari Olive Oil is celebrating "One Year of Little". Visit their Facebook page to learn why the little things are everything.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olivari . The opinions and text are all mine.

Jan Halvarson