You often hear about grilling steaks or burgers or hot dogs or chicken. Shish kabobs, peppers and onions, and mushrooms are all regular grill fare. And grilled pizza is becoming commonplace, too.
So what if you want to go outside the normal what-to-grill box? Here are six less-typical ingredients you can throw on the grill to up your cookout game, some of which may already be in your pantry or fridge.
Grilling romaine lettuce is as easy as chopping off the top and bottom, cutting it in half, and drizzling olive oil on it. Throw it on a medium-hot grill for just 15 seconds per side to get a nice char. Add your salad dressing of choice, and voila! Grilled salad. Check out the New York Times’ recipe for Grilled Romaine for more detailed instructions.
You can grill pretty much any stone fruit (ie: fruit with a pit inside). Grilling fruit allows you to add a new flavor profile to your dessert — slightly sweet, slightly charred, and all delicious. Cut your fruit of choice in half and remove the pit (peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots all work very well). Brush a thin coating of olive oil on the inside of each half and toss on a medium-high heat grill for 2-4 minutes. Remove and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for extra sweetness, or a dollop of yogurt, or both! Or, if you want to be really crazy, use the grilled fruit in your next sangria…
While we’re on the topic of grilling fruit, watermelon is another good one to throw on the heat. Cut your watermelon into triangle wedges with the rind still attached (for easier flipping). You can throw the watermelon on the grill for a few minutes per side, or you can raise your watermelon-grilling game one notch and add a rub to the melon before grilling. Check out The Kitchn’s recipe for grilling watermelon.
There’s grilled cheese and then there’s grilled… cheese. Halloumi, a firm Greek cheese with a high melting point, is ideal for grilling. Don’t leave it on the grill too long — less than a minute per side will be enough to get some good grill marks and heat it all the way through without risk of a complete meltdown. There are other cheeses you can grill, too (Serious Eats discusses five of their favorite grilling cheeses), but Halloumi is a great place to start your grilling cheese adventure.
Like lemonade? Try grilled lemonade! Cut lemons into wheels, dip both sides in sugar, and throw on the grill. The heat carmelizes the sugar on the outside and intensifies the lemon on the inside. After the lemons cool off slightly, juice them, add simple syrup and water, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a summer drink. Southern Living has a recipe that adds a splash of bourbon in true Southern style.
Corn on the Cob
Most people just boil their corn on the cob and leave it at that. And it’s delicious. But did you know there are at least three different ways to grill corn? In the husk, de-husked but wrapped in tinfoil, and dehusked directly on the grill. Serious Eats discusses the merits of each method here.
So what are you waiting for? Fire up those grills and try something new!