At my house, Summer is synonymous with outdoor cooking. Grilling outside is not only a great excuse to hang out in the fresh air and take some deep breaths, it’s also a chance to experience veggies and fruits a new way. Here are some suggestions for expanding your BBQ-ing repertoire…
Avocados: Yep. They are great on the grill! Simply cut them in half, brush with oil, and place on the grill until those gorgeous charred lines appear. Then you simply slice them up and add to your salads, a side dish, or you can stuff the avocado halves with things like quinoa, black beans, pilaf, anything you like!
Broccolini: This is a beautiful vegetable that grills up perfectly as a side dish. First, lightly blanch (about 1 minute in boiling water), drain, and brush with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic. Grill until slightly charred.
Mushrooms: There are so many different kinds of mushrooms that you can easily make them the star of the show. Big beautiful Portobellos can easily be a substitute for a burger patty, Baby Bellas can be marinated and placed on a skewer or in a grill basket, and Maitake (aka hen of the woods) does best sliced thick and tossed on the grill for a crunch on the outside and a moist interior.
Romaine Lettuce: This was a huge trend in foodie circles a couple years ago, and I have kept it alive here at home. Grilling romaine adds a lot of character to your caesar salad, but I love them plain, too. All you do is slice the head of romaine in half length-wise, leaving the stems on, and then brush or drizzle with olive oil and grill them until they begin to char. I flip them over, but you can always just grill one side. After they are cooled you remove the stems and serve.
Scallions / Green Onions: This has to be the easiest addition to your grill ever. No need to chop or cut them, just brush with a little oil and place them right on the grill. They make a great garnish!
Fruits: I usually coat fruits with coconut oil, and when I say fruits I mean anything from peaches, pineapples, watermelon, figs, even grapes!! You can place them directly on the grill or in a grilling basket. The heat carmelizes the natural sugars and gives a depth of sweetness that is amazing when added to salads or topped with a balsalmic reduction. You can have them for dessert simply plain, with vanilla ice cream or make your own fresh whipped cream.
Let your imagination run wild and don’t be afraid to experiment!