Grilling is a summer staple, but enough with the burgers and dogs already. Give Bobby Flay a run for his money with these great-on-the-grill options.
Pick a fruit, any fruit
Something magical happens when grill meets fruit. The natural sugars in the fruit caramelize from all that heat, going a rich golden color and developing an amazing flavor. It’s a hot mess of sweet, toast, caramelized exterior and soft, tart inside that pairs oh-so-well with cold ice cream. Pineapple, watermelon, stone fruits like peaches and even berries will benefit from time on the grill.
Grill it: Start with a hot grill and don’t overdo it – grill just long enough to get those fancy grill lines.
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen berries
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp butter
Gently combine berries, lemon juice, zest, brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Make your foil packet and spoon berry mix into the center. Top with butter and seal the packet carefully to prevent leaking. Grill for 10-15 minutes in a medium heat zone. Pair with ice cream. Swoon.
The term “grilled cheese” is already taken, but this makes that kids’ menu staple pale in comparison. Throw a thick-rinded cheese – think Camembert or Brie – on the grill and get ready for sinfully oozy, smoky goodness.
Grill it: Brush the cheese rind with olive oil and grill it directly on oiled grates over indirect heat. This cooks fast – go with about two minutes per side for a perfectly soft, toasty inside. Pair with grilled baguette slices for a seriously impressive appetizer.
Charred salad is a wonderful, delicious thing, and a grill makes it easy. Hardier greens can go straight on the grate – try hearts of romaine or radicchio. For smaller greens like spinach, use a stainless steel colander-style bowl. The holes will let the smoke and heat do their thing.
Grill it: Start with a hot grill and watch it closely. You’re going for slightly charred, not dried out and crispy.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Toss spinach with a bit of oil and season with salt and pepper. Dress with a light hand – the oil will help it cook faster but you don’t want to overdo it. After putting the bowl on the grate, close the lid for a minute or so to trap some smoke. Then open it and toss and stir (carefully – it’s hot!) the spinach to keep it from overly charring or burning. When it’s done, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on it and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Cocktails, nuts and cake
Don’t forget the drinks. Elevate your signature cocktail with a fresh garnish. But before you add that sprig of mint or lavender, toss it on the grill first to pump up the flavor.
Make the world’s best spiced nuts with DIY tinfoil packets or disposable foil pans. Grill your favorite nuts with sweet (honey, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter) or savory (extra virgin olive oil, hot chili oil, salt, paprika, Worcestershire and cayenne) seasonings over indirect low heat for about 20-30 minutes. Give them a stir occasionally and grill until they’re fragrant and toasted. Allow to cool, then break into smaller pieces.
Give plain old pound cake some texture, smokiness and street cred with a few grill lines. It’ll pair perfectly with those grilled berries and ice cream.