We're used to throwing burgers, steak, and fish on the barbecue. But did you also know you can grill foods like fruit, salads, and even dessert? Pretty much anything that won't fall through the grill grates is fair game.
Now that summer is upon us, there's no better time to experiment with some of the more atypical grilled foods. Here are 10 delicious ideas to get you started:
1. Pound cake
Grilling pound cake makes it even more of a treat. The dense cake holds up really wonderfully on the grill. Top with fresh fruit and whipped cream, or go the whole nine yards with our recipe for sundaes.
Grilled Pound Cake Sundae
- Six 1 1/4-inch slices of pound cake (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Vanilla ice cream
- Hot fudge or chocolate syrup
- Caramel Sauce
- Whipped cream
- Favorite sundae toppings
- Butter both sides of the pound cake slices. Grill the pound cake over moderate heat, flipping once, until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
- Assemble sundaes. Enjoy!
Watermelon is a classic summer food to enjoy alfresco, and this idea is great if you're looking for something a little different. Rub slices of watermelon with honey, then toss on the grill for a couple minutes on each side until it caramelizes.
Halloumi is a goat and sheep's milk cheese from the Mediterranean that doesn't melt, so you can throw it right on the grill to give it that smoky, charred flavor. Use in a salad or pair with bread as an appetizer.
Did you know you can throw clams -- in their shells! -- right on the grill? Let them heat for about five minutes; remove when they open, then toss with melted butter, lemon, fresh herbs, and breadcrumbs. Mmmm.
Grilled avocado is so simple and delicious -- you'll kick yourself for not realizing it before now. Slice an avocado; remove pit; drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper; and grill.
Grilling lettuce -- romaine, radicchio, endive -- is the perfect way to make an ordinary salad more summery. Just brush with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, then grill until slightly wilted.
7. Green Onions
This is a traditionally Spanish-style dish that really brings out the sweet flavor of the onions. Grill onions until they are charred and tender. Then serve with a spicy Romesco sauce.
Grilling bananas makes them caramelized on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside. They're perfect to liven up an ordinary Banana Split or even Bananas Foster.
Kick ordinary cornbread up a notch by toasting it on the grill. Serve as a side to barbecued chicken or cut into cubes as an ingredient in a bread and tomato salad.
Bruleed grapefruit is traditionally made in the broiler, but it's just as easy to make it on the grill: Halve a grapefruit; grill cut side for about 4 to 5 minutes until charred. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Which unusual foods do you like to throw on the grill?
Image via firepile/Flickr