You want to give great holiday gifts – something your loved ones will use and enjoy, and something that won’t fall into the wait-in-line-to-return-on-December-26 category. Why not consider a beautiful foodie gift basket that they can enjoy eating now, and continue to use the kitchen tools throughout the year? Melissa’s Produce has some amazing baskets this season that you might like to give – or even better, receive.
We had a chance to test-drive this beautiful grilling basket, and we’re using Melissa’s picture because we unpacked ours so fast we didn’t get a good shot.
Although items may vary seasonally, our gift basket contained orange and yellow bell peppers, Maui and cipolline onions, plantains, portobello mushrooms, chayote squash, Asian eggplant, fennel, elephant garlic, and Anaheim chile peppers. The basket also included a grilling basket and a set of four circle kabobs (which fit most plates).
Well, OK, here’s an aerial view from when we were unpacking it – The fresh, vibrant colors were a knockout.
What we loved about this basket:
1) It contained a very helpful pamphlet that explained a little bit about each item in the basket, as well as a recipe for a simple marinade and detailed instructions for grilling each of the items;
2) The grilling basket and circle kabobs are useful, high-quality implements that we’re sure to use again and again…and they’re not something you’d typically see in, say, a grocery store if you were just out buying vegetables;
3) The vegetables were a good mix of items that we use all the time (such as bell peppers) and items that we hadn’t used before (chayote squash) or that we just don’t see very often (elephant garlic). This combination of the usual and the unusual really inspired us to get grilling.
4) The basket was generously sized, and if we were to grill up everything in the basket all at once, we could have easily served 8 to 10 people.
5) The basket was beautifully wrapped and arranged, and we would be proud to give it as a gift.
…And here’s what we made with it. Clockwise from left: Eggplant, cippolini onions, Anaheim chile peppers, fennel, chayote squash, orange bell peppers, elephant garlic, Maui onions, yellow bell peppers, and portobello mushrooms in the center. We followed the recipe included for a very simple marinade with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and spices. It was an amazing spread – a feast for at least 6 – and we still have produce left to spare. Not to mention that we’re sure to continue using the circle kebabs and grilling basket for many barbecues to come. You can learn more on Grilling Zen. The basket is available from Melissa’s for $64.99. If you think you’d like to spend more, or less, you can find combinations ranging from under $50 to over $200. Some of the “extras” included in the baskets are cookbooks, nuts and spices, wine, chocolates, cooking implements, and more. We’re pretty sure you’ll find a basket for even the hardest-to-please on your gift list – and you’ll do it all without ever having to hit a store. Enjoy!
Blogger disclosure: Melissa’s sent us a gift basket for review purposes. We did not receive compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are our own.