Tips for Grilling Fruit, Bread, Vegetables and Cheese
Fruits - melon, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and citrus
Vegetables - Salad Greens & Scallions, Corn on the Cob, Squash, Peppers & Onions
Just about any type of fruit can be grilled to caramelize & intensify its natural sweetness. Wedges of melon, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and citrus are all excellent candidates for grilling.
The technique is the same for all -- brush with a neutral oil, lightly season with salt & pepper and place onto your clean, oiled grill grate over the hottest part of the grill to sear and caramelize.
- For larger melons and pineapple - Cut wedges with the skin on, remove seeds/core. Melon contains a lot of water, so grill these over the hottest coals for the best sear, then serve them as part of a salad or a fresh spin on a classic appetizer – grilled cantaloupe with prosciutto or grilled watermelon with feta, fresh mint and a peppery olive oil drizzle. Pineapple is also great cut into chunks with the skin off and skewered with spicy marinated shrimp or chicken. Grilled wedges of pineapple pairs perfectly with tropical sorbet (mango, coconut, passion fruit) and a sprinkle of toasted coconut chips or caramelized macadamia nuts.
- For stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums & apricots – Choose ripe but not mushy fruit, cut in half and pop out the pit (choose Eastern “freestone” peaches to make this easier!). For smaller fruit, grill the halves cut side down first. If you have large peaches, they can but cut into quarters for grilling. Use them as a part of an unexpected salad alongside creamy gongonzola dolce or burrata with peppery greens or a wedge of grilled radicchio.
Grilling Vegetables, Bread & Cheese:
- Salad Greens & Scallions– Cut whole romaine hearts and endive in half. For radicchio and iceberg lettuce cut into quarters for large wedges. For scallions, wash, dry and trim the root ends to prepare them for grilling. Brush with a flavorful oil and place onto the grill over the hottest coals for a quick char that doesn’t overly wilt the greens, then use the lettuces right away as the base of a salad – top a grilled iceberg wedge with cool, creamy blue cheese dressing and thick cut crispy bacon for a grilled wedge salad. For a summery Caesar salad start with grilled romaine, top with shaved parmesan, your favorite dressing even grilled garlicy croutons (see tip below!). Grilled scallions are great accompaniments to grilled meats & fish and delicious cut into 1” pieces and tossed with potatoes.
- Bread – Start with a crusty, airy rustic loaf. Cut thick slices and brush them with a flavorful olive oil, season with kosher salt and pepper then place onto the grill over medium hot coals to allow the bread time to toast and crisp evenly, flip and toast on both sides. For a delicious spin on garlic bread – infuse your oil with crushed fresh garlic cloves & a pinch of red pepper flakes before brushing it onto the bread. After grilling, brush on a little more of the garlic oil, then cut the bread into cubes for croutons to add to a summer Panzanella or Caesar salad, into wedges to serve with fresh tomato bruschetta or leave whole to enjoy with dinner.
- Corn on the Cob – Carefully peel pack the husks and remove the silk to clean the corn. Use a piece of husk or a little butcher’s twine to tie back the husks and then soak the corn in cold water before grilling. When ready to grill, drain the corn, dry the ears and brush them with oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper then place onto the grill and grill, turning as needed until golden on all sides. Brush the freshly grilled corn with a little melted butter and corn on the cob seasoning. We recommend Urban Accents Chipotle Parmesan Corn on the Cob seasoning
- Cheeses – Bread cheese & haloumi are made for the grill – brush the cheese with a little oil and place onto the grill over medium-high heat until browned and heated through. Serve them as part of a salad, along with refreshing grilled fruit like melon or peach.
- Squash, Peppers & Onions – Cut red or sweet onions into thick rounds. Peppers like shishito are ready to grill as they are. Larger sweet bell peppers can be grilled whole or cut into planks. For summer squashes choose smaller squash and then cut them in half from stem to blossom, then score the inside flesh into a cross hatch pattern with the tip of a sharp paring knife (this helps the squash to cook evenly and for seasonings to penetrate each bite). Brush with oil, season with kosher salt and black pepper and then place over high heat on the grill. Once the vegetables are well marked on all sides, slide them over onto a cooler area of the grill & brush with your favorite vinaigrette or marinade and allow them to finish cooking through. Shishito peppers just need to blister on all sides – serve them with a nice thick grilled steak or with a tangle of grilled red onions on top of the perfect burger.