Summer will only be here for a few more weeks so it’s time to fire up the grill take advantage of the warm weather! Summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and most of them can be grilled. Grilling fruits and vegetables provides a nice caramelization and robust flavor… not to mention a great way to keep your kitchen cool.
Before throwing fruits and vegetables on a grill, there are a few tips to follow to get the best results for flavor and texture. First, you will want to coat your produce with a tiny bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking to the grill. Second, keep the size of the fruits and vegetables large or add them to skewers to keep them from falling through the grate.
Vegetables can be cooked over medium to high heat. Most vegetables can go straight to the grill but harder vegetables such as potatoes, squash, and fennel will need to be pre-cooked beforehand. The most popular summer vegetables to grill include eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, and corn. Eggplants, zucchini, and carrots should be cut into large slices, tomatoes can simply be cut in half and corn should stay in the husks before adding them to the grill.
Another great way to grill vegetables is in aluminum foil. This is best for harder vegetables such as potatoes or smaller vegetables susceptible to falling through the grates like green beans. Take a long sheet of foil, add one layer of choice vegetables, season with salt and pepper and fold it over to make a pocket. Place in the grate and cook until tender.
Here are some great examples of the skewer method and foil packs:
Zucchini and Squash Kebabs by Pink Fortitude
Vegetable Foil Packets by Happy Foods Tube
Foil Packet Potatoes by The Betwitchin Kitchen
Grilled French Vidalia Onions by An Affair From The Heart
Fruit is cooked best over medium heat and the grates should be very clean. Fruits grill much faster than vegetables due to their high-water content, softer texture, and high sugar content so you will need to keep an eye on them and not walk away. Pick fruits that are firm and just about to be ripe. Most fruits can simply be cut in half and placed on the grill. Other fruits like apples or melons need to be cored, peeled and cut into large slices.
The best fruits to grill include apples, pineapple, pears and melons because they are generally more firm than other fruits. Soft fruits such as mangos, papayas, and peaches can be grilled too but require a lot less time or they will turn mushy. Bananas are another great choice to grill, simply cut it half, lengthwise with the peel and place flesh down over an oiled grate for about two minutes.
Here are some simple grilled fruit recipes to inspire you:
Fruit Kabobs by I Heart Naptime
Spicy Grilled Watermelon With Creme Fraiche by Floating Kitchen
Grilled Peaches With Vanilla Ice Cream by Life Made Simple Bakes
Grilled Pineapple by Healthy Little Foodies
Keep these tips in mind when you prepare your grill this season. Don’t just go for the meats – add some vegetables and fruits to your grill and gain some new skills and flavors!
My family loves to add some protein, with steak being the preferred meat of choice. Here’s a nice and simple steak skewers recipe with a flavorful marinade using fresh herbs. When it comes to skewers – if using wooden skewers, soak in water at least 30 minutes before using. If using metal skewers, handle with care using a hot pad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 30 min – 8 hours
Cook Time: 15 min
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (8 oz) package mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half
1 package multi-colored peppers, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Gather all your ingredients
4. Cut steak into pieces and add to large resealable bag; Pour marinade over steak, seal bag and place in refrigerator to chill at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours
5. Remove steak from bag and discard marinade; Cut vegetables.
6. Thread steak and vegetables onto skewers
7. Heat grill to medium-high heat; Place skewers onto hot grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side.
8. Remove from grill and serve immediately.