Saturday, July 31, 2021
Kebobs—A Favorite Way to Grill
Perhaps because poking food with a stick and cooking it over a fire is such a basic human act, kebobs have made their way around the world. And, this is a good thing because it presents us with such a variety of flavor possibilities that we will never grow tired of this favorite barbecue style.

We have dedicated this issue to all things kebob. So, let's begin with some of our favorite products to give you the best possible experience.
The Basics
It goes without saying that the freshest meats and veggies make for the best kebobs. The easiest fish to cook on a skewer is shrimp, but others work well, too. You can even grill firmer fruits like pineapple, peach quarters, mangoes, and strawberries. So, get creative with your combinations!

And, for an easy dinner, pick up some of our prepared and marinated kebobs in the meat department. You can even pre-order to make certain you get what you want.

You want to use good-quality olive oil for the best flavor. We recommend trying California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We have quite a few varieties including Medium, Garlic Infused, Avocado Blend, and Reserve.

And the salt you use makes all the difference. For marinades and sauces, we use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. And Maldon Sea Salt Flakes are amazing for finishing.
Soy Vey makes some amazing sauces that can be used as marinades and for basting. Try one of these two flavors—Hoisin Garlic for a sweet sesame soy flavor, and the Orange Ginger tastes like Chinese restaurant orange sauce.

Made from San-J’s Tamari sauce, their Thai Peanut Sauce is an excellent dipping sauce and a quick and easy way to make a tasty satay by marinating chicken, threading it onto presoaked skewers, and grilling or broiling until done.

Mina Harissa Pepper Sauces—harissa is the most common condiment in North African cuisine. It is a wonderful addition to your sauces and be used as a condiment itself. Mina makes three varieties of harissa. We carry both the mild and spicy version of the classic red pepper sauce as well as the spicy green pepper paste made with green chilis and Moroccan cumin.

Neera’s Tandoori Indian Grilling Paste is a richly aromatic and authentic marinade base for poultry, seafood, and vegetables. It makes your kebobs taste as if they came from a Northern Indian restaurant. You can use it as both a grilling or a dipping sauce.
Rubs—Not finished

Whole Spice of Napa Valley makes some of the tastiest rubs we have tried. They are fresh, local, and perfectly blended. A few of our favorites are:

  • Mediterranean Roasting Rub made with salt, black pepper, garlic, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, chilies, parsley, lemon juice, basil, and oregano
  • Napa Valley Rub made with sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, lemon peel, black pepper, chili, garlic, citric acid, sea salt
  • BBQ Rub made with paprika, cayenne chili, black pepper, dark chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and salt
  • Grilled Chicken Rub made with chilis, sea salt, celery, onion, garlic, cumin, and black pepper

Spicely Organic Zaatar also makes a fantastic base for a rub for meats and veggies.
Now that you have your kebobs sorted out, what you eat them with makes all the difference. For a lighter meal, you may want to go with a side salad, but there are so many choices beyond that. Here are a few of our favorites:

Couscous is a classic grain to accompany a kebab. We are loving Bob's Red Mill Tri-Color Pearl Couscous. These delightfully nutty, chewy balls of toasted semolina flour cook up quickly and presents beautifully.

Ciliegine Fresh Mozzarella is cherry-sized, fresh mozzarella balls from Belfiore Cheese. They are the perfect size for skewering.

If you are looking for a bread to create gyros or sandwiches with your kebobs, we recommend either Shakti Plain Tandoori Naan that is baked in a clay oven or Middle East Baking Company's Organic Pita Bread baked in Burlingame.

And for condiments, don't forget Piedmont Grocery's Own selection in our deli department. Try our Taboule & Quinoa Salad, Handmade Dolmas, Babaghannouge Eggplant Dip, and Hummus for a completely delicious spread.
A Staff Favorite

Tzatziki is a refreshingly creamy Greek yogurt dip with a strong garlic zing. It is one of our favorite combinations of flavors. And, its variations span the cuisines of the globe.

Tzatziki is a wonderful accompaniment for grilled meats and fish. It is classically used to dip kebobs and falafel. Tzatziki is delicious as a spread for sandwiches and burgers. And, it makes a great dipping sauce for veggies—especially dehydrated ones. Try it on a baked potato. You can even mix it into a pasta salad.

Ours is made with Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dill, and plenty of garlic. It can be found in the Deli Department.

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Salmon On A Stick
I am a big fan of grilled meat on a stick. Kebobs of any variety are always welcome on my dinner table. Though, I will admit that most of the time when I make kebobs the flavors lean heavily toward Middle Eastern. This should make sense considering most people, when they hear the word kebob, think of lamb and the flavors of the Mediterranean.

While those spices may dominate the wonderful world of kebobs, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy them. For instance, last night I was playing with a recipe that I came across for salmon kebobs which caught my eye. I honestly hadn’t given much thought about using fish to make kebobs beyond the obvious shrimp. Because, in my mind, it would just fall apart. The reality is there are a lot of types of fish that will work, it just has to be a firm-fleshed variety like tuna or, in this case, salmon.

If you have the good fortune to be in possession of a beautiful, wild-caught, fresh side of salmon, please don’t use it for kebobs! A really nice piece of salmon should be eaten with reverence and cooked simply such as in our recipe for Slow-Roasted Salmon or this one for Salmon Roasted in Butter.

However, if you come across some nice salmon fillets and have a hankering to try something new with your fish, give this recipe for Marinated Salmon Kebobs a go. For the record, the original recipe called for white wine vinegar which I replaced with white wine. I wasn’t a huge fan of the vinegar, but others may feel differently. You can try it either way.

A Staff Favorite

Our secret ingredient
On days when making sauce from scratch is not an option, we reach for Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade by Soy Vey. This award-winning blend is genuinely versatile. It's great as a marinade or glaze and fantastic as a dipping sauce.

The flavors of Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade meld together and transform the dish into something greater than its parts. It's a sweet, tangy flavor with a side of sesame—salty, gingery, and garlicky with tasty little chunks of garlic and ginger.

As a marinade for meats and veggies, it is excellent. It does the obligatory tenderization as well as flavoring. It goes equally well with chicken, beef, pork, and veggies. Flavor burgers or meatballs, or use it in a stir fry. And, it is delicious on the grill.

Just be certain to shake it veri veri well before pouring!

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Sandwich on a Stick
I spend most of my Summer evenings at the grill. On the weekends I will do the things that take time like ribs or even a smoked brisket. But, during the week, it’s all about getting dinner on the table quickly.

Lately, I have become a little obsessed with anything that can be grilled and put in a pita—as has the rest of my family. I’ve done lamb shoulder, as well as chicken, and at least a couple of times, we went with salmon. My favorite is these Moroccan Kefta Kebobs. Keftas are essentially spiced meatballs that have been pressed onto a skewer and are then grilled.

They can be eaten right off the skewer alongside a cucumber salad and some hummus or some couscous but I like them in a soft pita with sliced tomatoes, a smear of hummus, and some tangy tzatziki.

A Staff Favorite

Clean, ultra-smooth moonshine
Midnight Moon Moonshine is inspired by Junior Johnson’s family moonshine recipe and–true to the roots of moonshine–it's made from 100% American corn and handcrafted in small batches. They use a state-of-the-art distillation process to make a superior quality spirit.

Midnight Moon does not have the harsh, heavy corn taste people associate with illegal moonshine. It is blended with ultra-clean water that has been through a five-step filtration process, and the result is a very smooth spirit with a subtle sweetness from the corn.
Here are the flavors we are carrying at the store: Cherry, Lightning Lemonade, Apple Pie, and Peach. Come in and try a few!

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Ke-bob Ka-Boom
Not going to lie. Things have been rather busy lately and I am really looking forward to some time off for the Fourth of July. Fourth of July means a BBQ…if you are doing it right. And, that thought just makes me want to hind under my pillow.

So the BBQ for this holiday is going to be easy-peasy ‘cause that’s all I can handle. Simple stuff on the grill like steaks, sausages, or chicken and most likely some salad on a stick.

Even though it’s just the start of July, my garden is in full swing—especially my cherry tomatoes. The recent heat has put cherry tomato production into overdrive. And, I have been hard-pressed to keep up. So, in order to solve that problem. and make for some tasty treats this weekend, I am planning on making some caprese skewers for the BBQ. The best part is they don’t require a lot of effort, which is ideal for my current state of mind.

Our recipe for Caprese Vegetable Kebobs is great for the veggie lovers in your life. I like to drizzle some balsamic over them for a little extra kick. And, if you can get your hands on the bottled balsamic glaze, even better…

News & Events

The Local Love Summer Art Festival is a six-day celebration of Bay Area art and culture that supports participating local artists. The festival takes place at BLOC15 in Oakland and features a curated 10,000 square foot exhibition of Bay Area artists, daily musical acts, arts, crafts, and fashion vendors on the weekend. The programming features, installations, interactive art, murals, films, performance, sculpture, music, and more.

BLOC15 is a premiere Oakland event venue in Jack London Square with two levels, multiple environments, and over 10,000 square feet of event and exhibition space.

Details for Local Love Summer Art Festival
Through August 1st
BLOC15 Oakland | 252 2nd St. Oakland, CA

A Cookbook Recommendation
by Sabrina Baksh and Derrick Riches

A new spin on this classic backyard grilling staple with some advice from the experts in Kebobs. These grillers traveled the planet and found the best, skewered meals it had to offer.

Everyone loves grilling up kebobs, but it’s easy to fall into the mushroom, pepper, chicken, and beef rut. Kebabs, Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh take this quick and easy grilling method for a brand new spin.

They traveled the backroads of the Barbecue Belt and studied street-food stalls where skewered, grilled foods are most famous, like Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East, India, and even Japan (yakitori) and France (brochettes).

There are ample recipes for beef, chicken, fish and seafood, vegetables, and even fruit, plus vegan substitutions are included for meat recipes. Kebabs includes plenty of technique guidance, too. Are metal or wood skewers better for grilling? Do you really need to soak wooden skewers before cooking?

Not to mention a myriad of rubs, sauces, and mops that make kebabs optimally flavorful and moist, Kebabs makes backyard grilling more globally adventuresome, and flavorful, than it's been before—all with minimal prep time and effort.

If your mama is happy to stand before a mighty grill, bathed in sweat, smoke, and the delicious perfume of charred meat, then this book is for her!
—The Kitchn

These are lovely ideas for your grill and your tummy. It’s a contemporary book so you can see the sriracha and cilantro in play, plus there is adobo and harissa on these pages…This summer, go with sophistication. Go kebab with this lovely guide.
—The Huffington Post
From our blog, The Kitchen Table

While Amy was on vacation, we pulled up this favorite recipe from our archive. This Tri-Colored Orzo Salad is something we make at least twice a month during hot weather. And, is the perfect accompaniment for grilled food and kebobs.

This is a favorite salad that Amy says she makes whenever she has a BBQ or just needs an easy, tasty, goes-with-anything side dish. This recipe is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis. Every time she makes it people ask for the recipe.

The key is to use good quality olive oil. Try this tonight with anything grilled and any leftovers are great as a light lunch the next day!

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

La Marguerite is a French spin on Mexico's national drink is the creation of David Lebowitz. It uses Lillet Blanc, a Bordeaux-based orange-infused aperitif that makes this a much lighter alternative to the traditional Margarita. However, it is equally as delicious!

From our blog, The Butcher's Block

Since man discovered fire, we have been cooking meat on a stick. Luckily for us, the art of grilling skewered meat has been honed over the centuries. And, what we know today as kebob is a tasty and speedy way to enjoy all your favorite proteins.

The word Kebob does not refer to a single dish but instead to a whole category of dishes that span many cuisines. Though they go by a variety of names, kebobs, kebabs, keftas, koftas, satay, souvlaki, tikka, shawarma, and yakitori to name a few, all of them require a skewer and fire. And some, like koftas and keftas can also be baked or braised.

Kebobs can be chunks of meat threaded alongside vegetables or they can be ground meats like keftas and koftas that are pressed onto skewers. They can consist of thinly sliced chicken threaded like ribbons—in the case of a satay. They can be stacked, skewered, and sliced again to enjoy on some naan for shawarma—or can be placed inside warm pita bread to enjoy the mother of all kebobs and Greek favorite, gyros.

Every culture has its own version of kebobs and just like the number of spellings, the opportunities for a great tasting meal are endless. Though the word kebob tends to bring to mind the flavors of the middle east, kebobs are a great addition to your own backyard BBQ. They are a great way to get your protein and veggies together in one go.

News & Events

We've got some new mixers at the store that we simply love.
Nickel Dime Cocktail Syrups are crafted here in Oakland and are creating a wave of new cocktail flavors. These award-winning craft syrups replicate the complexity, nuance, and balance of professional high-end cocktails. And we can attest to the fact that they are delicious!

These syrups are delicious in cocktails (of course) and also mix wonderfully in recipes for desserts, BBQ, dressing and sauces, and whatever tickles your creative fancy.

Nickel Dime Cocktail Syrups are the brainchild of local talent Jared Hirsch and Absinthia Vermut. Jared, the bar manager at Sidebar in Oakland, came up with the recipes. And Absinthia, who is in the process of creating her own line of absinthe, applied her business knowledge to production and distribution.

We are carrying all four flavors
  • Caged Heat Cocktail Syrup made with Tamarind, Cardamom & Ghost Pepper
  • Fairy Dust Cocktail Syrup made with Fennel, Anise & Wormwood
  • Cherry Bomb Cocktail Syrup made with Cherry, Coffee, & Cacao
  • Crimson Smoke Cocktail Syrup made with Smoked Tea, Cranberry & Honey in 15-ounce bottles.

Plus, we also have their Craft Cocktail Sample collection that contains all four flavors in 2-ounce bottles.

A Staff Favorite

Brentwood Corn is a staff favorite—every summer.
It's summertime, and local corn is plentiful and delicious. It’s picked each day, arriving at our market, fresh, without losing sweetness. It is the perfect accompaniment for BBQ or Kebobs!

The rich, Brentwood agricultural soil and temperate climate of the Delta create perfect growing conditions for high-quality corn on the cob. We now have both yellow and white corn at the store. You can’t get better than this!

Now is the time to indulge—straight off the grill or stovetop with plenty of butter and salt. Or try it in one of our favorite recipes:

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Mutiny Because of the Bounty
Come with me and let me take you on a little journey to see if this is something you can relate to. It’s February and you’re sitting at the kitchen table, a stack of the latest seed catalogs in front of you. (Ahhhh…that new catalog smell!) The excitement and anticipation of the fresh bounty to come are impossible to contain. And, you are convinced that you actually need every variety of those heirloom tomatoes and squash because who doesn’t like tomatoes and squash? And of course, the best part is sharing with others. So, having too much shouldn’t be a problem. And, you never know when Better Homes and Gardens will call to ask if they can come to do a photoshoot in your garden because it’s Just. That. Awesome.

Fast forward to the end of July. It’s been hot and some of your plants are showing the damage. You’ve battled a round of blossom end rot on your tomatoes. The ants are taking over your bell peppers and your squash “cup” runneth over.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to pawn a lot of my produce off on my sister which, frankly, is one of the reasons I plant a garden. (She loves the produce but her yard is too shady.) But there is still a lot of produce on the vine.

Planting and taking care of a garden is a lot of work but it’s worth it for the fresh produce. There will never be anything that can hold a candle to a homegrown, vine-ripened tomato. But, during the peak months, you will find yourself scrambling to come up with ways to use everything so it doesn’t get wasted. And, in doing so, you might find that you never want to see another pepper in your lifetime. Zucchini is notorious for this.

I love squashes of all kinds. But, even I will get tired of them day after day—especially if they are prepared the same way each time. That being said, I like them cooked simply so you can actually taste the flavors of the squash. Grilling them is my favorite but can be tricky. Cook them a heartbeat too long and they will be mushy.

I saw this recipe for Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Kebobs in the New York Times and wanted to try it because it looked like a great way to avoid soggy squash and the ribbons seemed fun. Play around with the seasonings you use. You don’t have to go with BBQ. Salt, pepper, and olive oil are always fantastic as is your favorite Mediterranean blend. Za'atar would also work really well…

News & Events

It is the height of summer and we are enjoying many types of summer melons at the store. They are refreshing and hydrating on hot days and tasty-sweet.

Melons are great in salads, with ice cream and custard, and in antipasto. There are lots of melon recipes on our website.
We have an exciting assortment of melons in the store including Cantaloupe, Casaba, Gaia, Honeydew—both green and orange flesh, Sugarkiss, and Watermelon.

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

The Kamikaze is a classic cocktail that you can think of as a vodka margarita. It is also similar to the original daiquiri or the more recent Cosmopolitan (or cranberry kamikaze). It contains just a few simple ingredients and when balanced well, it has a refreshing flavor. Good-quality booze and fresh lime juice go a long way with flavor in this cocktail.

The kamikaze dates back to a naval base during WWII, and it was made popular in the 1970s. The sweet-sour flavor is achieved with just three ingredients: vodka, triple sec, and fresh lime juice.

Sauces, Marinades, and Salsas from Our Archives
From our blog, The Kitchen Table

If you are looking for inspiration for sauces and marinades to try with your kebobs, we have a very nice collection from our recipe archive. Many of these recipes are part of longer recipes—which are fantastic, too. And, all of them can be creatively used in a variety of dishes—especially kebobs!

Sauces can be for basting BBQ, dipping cooked meats, and sometimes double as marinades.

The smoky flavor comes from the grilled berries and also the chipotle chiles packed in adobo.

You have to make the sauce—it’s out of this world. Spoon it over cooked meat or veggies. The original recipe calls for chicken with a killer marinade.

This is great for dipping or spooning on top of kebobs when you are looking for something fruity.

Chimichurri is an Argentinean sauce that is used as a table condiment for cooked meat. It is wonderful with BBQ.

This is a variation on the basic recipe that is made with basil instead of oregano. They are both delicious!
This marinade is traditionally made for grilled pork chops—and is delicious on other cuts of meat.

You can often make this marinade from ingredients you have on hand. It is citrusy and delicious.

Often used for Tri-Tip, this marinade is flavorful and versatile.

Half of this recipe (the cilantro sauce) landed in the list of sauces and here is the other half with the marinade. It's just that good. But, they are even better together.

And, we need to throw in our recipe for this fantastic Coffee BBQ Rub. Rub it on your cut of choice and leave it for an hour or so before grilling or even overnight in the fridge,
There is nothing to stop you from grilling up meat and veggies on a stick and smothering them with homemade salsa. Here are a few of our favorites, some of which are extracted from other recipes.

Give this recipe a try next time you have some really great blueberries on hand.

Try using multi-colored heirloom tomatoes for sweetness and visual impact.

This sweet salsa is delicious on grilled fish, chicken, and veggies.

Another version of a fruit salsa combines avocado for extra creaminess.

It’s hard to believe that this sweet, crunchy, and smoky salsa has only six calories per serving. Serve it with grilled fish or chicken!
Vendor of the Month

Turn up the Flavor!
Barbecue season is in full force, and our staff hands-down recommends Kinder’s Marinades and Sauces. Over the years, three generations of this East Bay family have worked hard to bring their delicious line of sauces and marinades to our shelves.

Kinder’s crafts award-winning recipes and creating authentic flavors that are satisfying and simplify your life. The result is a delicious assortment of sauces, marinades, ready-to-serve, and ready-to-cook meats that offer big, bold flavors and time-saving convenience.

All of Kinder's sauces feature natural ingredients such as sweet-from-the-vine California tomatoes and the perfect balance of seasonings for a taste that's a little smoky, a little sweet, and totally unique.

Kinders Marinades are great for marinating before cooking or as glazes before, during, or after cooking

BBQ Sauces
Kinders BBQ sauces come in three degrees of spicy: mild, hot, and extra hot—as well as mustard and roasted garlic. They are great to use during or after cooking.

Store Hours

Monday through Saturday from
9 AM to 8 PM & Sunday from
9 AM to 7 PM.

Free Parking 

4038 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 653-8181

Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.