Make it Jersey Fresh from start to finish

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Photo by Greg Marino

Chicago has its pizza, Philly has its cheese steaks and New England has its clam chowder and its lobsters, but don’t sell New Jersey short.

Right in our own backyard we have the means to put together some pretty incredible meals and wow those out-of-town guests with a dinner that is all New Jersey, and altogether delish.


Dinner at my house for a recent family get-together was Jersey Fresh from start to finish.

We had grilled tuna, just caught by a cousin fishing about 35 miles off Ocean City. The tuna was marinated in merlot for about 30 minutes before grilling (because tuna steaks have little connective tissue, marinating any longer would begin to break them down and make them more difficult to grill).

The first stop shopping for dinner was B. F. Mazzeo in Northfield to pick up some tender asparagus. The near perfect veggie to accompany the tuna needed only a little oil and breadcrumbs before serving. 

Next it was Reed’s Farm on Spruce Avenue in Egg Harbor Township for the sides. To go with the tuna I served a salsa made from plums, peaches and nectarines; add the slightest pinch of salt to encourage sweetness. (This is best prepared the night before).

Reed’s corn is just picked and out of this world so I took home a dozen ears to serve. Tomatoes are at the height of their season so I grabbed a few along with a few cucumbers and sweet onions for a salad. I tossed it with a homemade Italian dressing.     

While I bounced around a few thoughts for dessert, I ran out of time, so instead of making a pie, I headed back to Reed’s and bought a blueberry-peach pie that a local baker sells at the farm stand made with fruit grown on the farm. The empty dish let me know it was a hit and the dinner was a great avenue to show off the Garden State at the table.


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