Food trends change, but there is always something so comforting about summer. It’s a consistency that persists every year. No matter what’s trendy, you can always rely on fresh vegetables and grilled meats to be a part of the summer food conversation.
Proof and point – one of my favorite childhood food memories is how excited I was the first time I had a bratwurst. Seriously, I’m not lying. It was at a backyard BBQ, and I was like “what is this magical thing I just devoured?” I wanted a second. And I probably had one. Who can blame me?
Well, I’ve never looked back. Brats are one of my favorite summer (and ball park) indulgences. Lucky for you, and since it was the perfect summer day, I thought I would share my favorite Johnsonville brat recipe.
Start off with Johnsonville Orginal Brats. (Or whatever kind you prefer.)
Grill them to perfection. (Probably like 5 minutes on a high heat. Flip them over after the 3 minute mark.)
Once the brats are finished, serve them with your favorite condiments and accoutrements.
I paired my Johnsonville brats with avocado, homemade purple cabbage slaw, pickled vegetables, and bread & butter pickles. (Recipes for all 3 below.)
1/2 head of small purple cabbage, sliced thin
1 medium carrot, finely grated
2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced on a grater
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup light mayo
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
Using your mandolin, slice your cabbage, and using your box grater, grate your carrot and onion. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and let sit until ready to eat.
Bread and Butter Pickles
4 quarts medium cucumbers, sliced thin-ish
2 medium onions, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/3 cup pickling salt
5 cups of sugar
3 cups of apple cider vinegar (I like Braggs)
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
Wash cukes. Using your mandolin, thinly slice the cukes, onion and garlic (make the garlic paper thin). Then combine the cukes, onion, garlic and pickling salt in a large bowl with crushed ice. Toss and then cover with more ice. Let sit for 3 hours. Drain.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Put the cuke mixture in and bring to a boil again. When it’s just boiling, pack the mixture into sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Seal the jars with metal lids. Process the jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy with just about everything.
1 bunch of radish
2 large carrots
1 jalapeño, seeds removed
Handful of chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar
Using a mandolin slicer, cut your veggies into thin round pieces. Bring your sugar and vinegar to a slow boil and whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. Then store in the fridge or freezer to bring it back to room temp. Once cool, add the liquid to your mix of veggies, cilantro, and salt. Store in a container in the fridge. Good for the next couple of weeks. (Also great on tacos.)
While I’m gushing about brats, I should probably let you know that Bratsgiving (or National Bratwurst Day) is around the corner on August 16. And Johnsonville and Stop & Shop are celebrating!
For every package of Johnsonville brats (or Italian sausage) sold between August 11-18, Johnsonville and Stop & Shop are donating $0.25 to a local charity. Boston friends, head over to Stop & Shop and celebrate with us. Trust me, your heart and your stomach will thank you.
And if you didn’t already notice this in the pickle shot, here’s an outtake of my “helper” during this lovely and delicious project. Let me tell you, Charlie was a big fan of this Bratsgiving.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.
If you’re interested in my other food posts, you can check them out here.