It is finally the time of year that we spend less time inside and more time outside- hooray for summer! Many of our summer meals are prepared on the grill and often by summer’s end, we find ourselves thinking, “Not grilled burgers again…” We have discovered a few more items to add to your grilling list this summer, so you won’t get burned out on the same old meat patties.
Few things are better then a fresh summer salad with seasonal vegetables, but for a more complex flavored bowl of greens, grill them! Heartier lettuces such as romaine, radicchio, and endive grill well. After the lettuce is well-charred, grill any of the other summer veggies; peppers, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and zucchini. For creaminess, throw chunks of skewered cheese on the grill: feta, fresh mozzarella, and halloumi work best.
Do you love the wood fired pizza found at restaurants? You can achieve a similar wood fired, smoky flavor without the pricey oven at home by grilling pizza. Using homemade pizza dough, or for the busy home cook, store bought is perfectly fine. Separate dough into baseball size and roll with rolling pin. Place flattened dough directly on a medium-hot grill. When grill marks appear its time to flip. Then simply brush the grilled side with olive oil and add desired toppings.
Also try: Grilled Pasta!
For many of us, fresh shellfish in the summer is a go-to for a light meal. While shellfish prepared almost any way is fitting for summer dining, why not pair them with another summer fave, the grill! Clams, mussels, and oysters are excellent on the grill and a good option for friends who may not brave them fresh on the half-shell. Grilling shellfish is about the easiest protein cook. Simply place well cleaned and scrubbed clams, mussels or oysters on a preheated medium high grill. Grill until the shells open and you are done! (Discard any that do not open.) Serve with any dipping sauces. Your friends and family will be so impressed with the fancy grilling.
We have all come across a grilled pineapple on occasion and, yes they are sweet and delicious when grilled, but there are so many other possibilities when it comes to other grilled fruits! Halved peaches, watermelon, berries, bananas, figs, cantaloupe and apricots all become naturally sweeter and more intense when put on a hot flame. Add whipped cream to any grilled fruits and you have an instant summer dessert. Or use grilled fruit as a topping for ice cream. For an extra delightful accompaniment, grill slices of pound cake, top with fruit, and for the truly decadent, ice cream too–there you have summer’s perfect confection!