5 Grilling Alternatives for Summer
The sun is out, the pool is open, and grilling season is officially in full swing! The age-old classics of hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausages will never lose their appeal, but this summer try experimenting with some grilling alternatives.
Watermelon, pineapple, apples, stone fruit… the list of fruity grilling possibilities is more substantial than you would think! The sugar on the surface of the fruit gets caramelized, making the fruit an even tastier treat. Combine grilled watermelon, feta, and mint for a simple recipe with extraordinary flavor. Grilled peaches are a great topper for pies and cakes – or just top the grilled peaches themselves with ice cream to have a delicious fresh dessert.
Grilling leafy greens adds a richness without wilt, where the leaves get beautifully charred and the interior slightly softens. Try a grilled romaine Caesar salad, and you might not be able to return to raw romaine again! Grilling bok choy also maintains its flavor while adding a smoky element. Make it Asian inspired with miso, soy sauce, or rice vinegar, or use it in place of romaine as a “wedge” salad alternative.
We’re not talking about grilling grilled cheese sandwiches (although that would be delicious, too)! Go above and beyond and put your high-melting point cheeses right on the grill for a savory treat! Halloumi is the most well-known grilling cheese, and for good reason – it becomes beautifully crispy on the outside, and slightly gooier on the inside while retaining its shape. Try it on an arugula salad with berries; or make a pita sandwich with your summertime produce!
The practice of grilling bread is vastly underutilized and underappreciated, yet it can be so simply delicious. The crispy crunchy crumb, golden grill marks, and soft interior makes the perfect vessel for any topping. Make the avocado toast of your dreams, top it with your garden-fresh bruschetta, combine ricotta and a berry consommé for a sweet and savory treat, or leave it plain (or with butter) and accompany salads, pastas, and soups with the perfect pairing. If you want to really go wild, try grilling international breads such as naan or pita.
One of the best parts of grilling potatoes is you can utilize so many different styles of cooking, and all different types of potatoes. Do you want your potatoes soft and steamed? Keep them in tin foil off direct heat. Do you want more of a crispy outside and flaky inside? Throw some wedges right on the grill and rotate between direct and indirect heat. Combining the two methods takes the best of both worlds. Put your potatoes on the grill in foil, and then finish them without foil to get the charred crispy smoky flavor, soft interior, and beautiful grill marks. Sweet potatoes are a crowd favorite for the grill; try making wedges or fries, or cut them into slices to put on skewers.