Whether you typically eat these foods raw, sautéed, fried, or even baked, grilling can supersede it all. Depending on where you live, grilling season may vary from just a few months out of the year when summer rolls around to all year round. Regardless of whether you get to fire up the grill whenever you please or have to wait patiently for warmer weather to arrive, grilling gives just about any food—not just meat—a boost in flavor. Grilling fruit over the fire, for example, allows the naturally-occurring sugar (fructose) in fruit to caramelize, something that only the grill can emulate.
There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a cold piece of watermelon, which is why grilling such a refreshing fruit may seem a bit counterproductive. Well, it’s not—trust us. In fact, grilled watermelon pairs very well with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar. Or, you could grill cubes of the fruit and make our Savory-Sweet Grilled Fruit Kebabs With Yogurt and Honey.
Chef Patrick Ochs, Corporate Executive Chef at Pubblica Italiana and Dalia at The Celino Hotel, says that grilling a peach is a great way to get the best of both worlds: sweet and savory. It’s really simple to do, too. First, cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Next, grill the open sides of the fruit on high heat until grill marks appear. “Chop and add to a salad, or as a complement to any grilled meat dish for a sweet and savory flavor kick,” says Ochs.
3. Pound Cake
You could warm up a few slices of sweet pound cake in the oven or microwave, but why not take the dessert to the next level presentation-wise by plopping it on the grill? Top the slice of pound cake with berries and a dollop of whipped cream, and you’re likely to impress your guests even more.
This creamy fruit may be delicious as-is, but grilling it inevitably gifts this source of healthy fats a smoky flavor. Not to mention, grilling helps to speed up the ripening process, which is convenient if you bought an unripe avocado for a recipe that you’re making that day!
Scallions aren’t eaten by themselves, but rather chopped and added to dishes as a garnish. Chef Ochs recommends seasoning the green onion with salt and oil. “Adding grilled scallions to a dish can add the perfect addition of impeccable flavor, and can also be used chopped and mixed in a vinaigrette or puree,” he says.
Often, fried cauliflower is served as an appetizer with ranch. But if you’re trying to watch your waistline, it may be time to nix the fried version of this vegetable and opt for a healthier alternative. Chef Ochs says to slice the cauliflower into large steak-like portions and to grill at low heat until the cruciferous vegetable becomes tender. Then, “put on high heat to get a nice char out of it,” he says.
If you enjoy munching on dried apricots as a snack, there’s a good chance you’ll be a fan of apricots in their fresh form, too! For a healthy dessert, try grilling the fruit and adding Greek yogurt to the center where the pit originally was. Then, drizzle maple syrup and sprinkle chopped, toasted walnuts to the top of the fruit once plated.
Fire-roasted lobster sounds like a delicious endeavor to us! Make sure to grill the lobster with lemon because, according to Chef Ochs, “grilling a lemon lightly caramelizes it, makes it a bit sweeter, and adds a charred flavor. It’s great to add layer and depth in flavor to any dish!”
Plantains are much tastier to eat once they have been cooked, and grilling inevitably lends the starchy food a charred flavor. Glaze the unsweet plantain with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and vinegar so that it caramelizes on the grill.