Fruits (and Tips) for Summer Grilling

One of summer’s best offerings is juicy fresh fruit, but don’t limit yourself by only serving it cold. Some of your favorite fruits take on a whole new level of yum when they land on the grill. Here are some fruits to try the next time you fire up your BBQ or grill pan, and some tips for serving.

TIP: Before you grill any fruit, be sure to start with a clean grill. Scrape it, brush it, and let it scorch clean for several minutes before placing any fruit on it. The last thing you want is fruit that tastes like meat or fish!

Stone Fruits

Apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines are amazing on the grill. Simply halve them, remove the pit, and give them a light brush of olive oil before placing on a hot grill. About 2-3 minutes per side is ideal. Serve them alongside grilled meats, or cold cheeses, or even with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Melon

Your favorite melons take on a deep, rich flavor with some char from the grill. Leave the rind on watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and other obscure melons for best results. A little sprinkle of brown sugar before you place them on the grill will produce a candied effect; however, straight on the grill and then a sprinkle of salt or honey and lemon zest. Two minutes per side is adequate for a one-inch thick slice.

Pineapple

If you thought it was impossible to turn pineapple any sweeter, you were wrong. Grilled pineapple is delicious as a topping on a burger or a dessert unto itself. Cut thick slices or wedges and place directly on the grill for about three minutes per side.

Tomatoes

Technically a fruit, tomatoes are delicious on the grill. Slice in half and grill only on the skin side for about 2-3 minutes or until char marks appear. Serve on pasta, or with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Bananas

Your summer banana split has a great new flavor with grilled bananas on the bottom. Slice bananas in half lengthwise and spray with cooking spray before grilling for about 2 minutes per side. Remove the peel and top with your favorite ice cream and toppings.

TIP: Grilling is a great place for experimentation. If you think a favorite fruit might be good on the grill–give it a try!

 

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Grilled Fruits 101

If you’ve never grilled fruits before, it’s time to change your ways. Fire up the grill and grab a handful of your favorite fruits, but before you do, get a quick education:

  • The best fruits for grilling are peaches, apricots, plums, pineapples, figs, pears, avocados, coconut, mangos, bananas, and even cantaloupe and watermelon. 
  • Before grilling, always brush fruit with olive oil. This will keep it from sticking to the grill and help seal in the juices.
  • Use indirect heat to grill fruit, either on a raised grill or on an unlit side.
  • Fruit cooks quickly, so stand by! Grill flesh-side first and check after about two minutes. Look for grill marks before flipping over.
  • Leave rinds and peels on fruit for better handling.
  • On the grill, your favorite sweet fruits get even sweeter and more complex as the natural sugars caramelize and give you the flavor of a fresh-from-the-oven cobbler.
  • Natural sugars not enough for you? Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top and let a caramel-y crust form.
  • Grilled fruits aren’t just for dessert. Add them to salads, pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and burgers.
  • Love fruit kabobs? Try grilling them! Even berries work well grilled on a skewer. Give them about 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Try blending grilled fruits into a homemade vinaigrette. The sweet, smoky flavor is unbelievable.
  • A drizzle of honey, maple syrup, or coconut milk is a delicious topping for grilled fruit.
  • Keep in mind that fruit will continue cooking after you remove it from the grill.

Give it a try and find your own favorite grilled fruit flavors!
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