Meat, fish, chicken and vegetables aren’t the only foods you can toss on the grill. Fruits like pineapple, strawberries and even watermelon are becoming more popular to fire up too. Here are three fun combinations you can try the next time you’re barbecuing.
Unless you have a grill basket, berries are easiest to grill when threaded on skewers. Here are the basic steps to follow for killer berry kebabs:
1) Choose your berry: Strawberries are largest and easiest to work with, but you can skewer blueberries and blackberries too.
2) Brush with a sweet flavor: Combine maple or agave syrup with lemon zest and a touch of a neutral oil (like canola or safflower), and brush on the threaded berries.
3) Select an herb: Complement the flavor of berries with mint, basil or lavender. Chop the herb and sprinkle it over your skewers before serving.
4) Grill over a low flame: Berries burn easily, so be sure to grill them over low heat.
Recipe to try: Grilled Strawberry Kebabs with Lemon-Mint Sauce (pictured above)
Stone fruit are solid enough to hold up beautifully on the grill. You can cook them right on the grates, or wrap in foil and then toss on the heat. Follow these three steps for deliciously grilled stone fruit:
1) Choose your fruit: Popular stone fruits to grill include peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots. Slice them in half before grilling.
2) Add flavor: Stone fruit naturally have a ton of flavor, so there’s no need to drown them in much more. They do, however, need a brushing of oil so they don’t stick to the grill. Use a simple combo like cinnamon, nutmeg and oil, or olive oil, salt and black pepper.
3) Choose a grilling method: Place them in foil, thread them on skewers, or just place them cut-side down on the grates.
4) Complement with a side: Serve with nonfat plain Greek yogurt, or toss onto a bed of greens like arugula or spinach and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Recipe to try: Grilled Plums with Spiced Walnut-Yogurt Sauce
Watermelon holds up gorgeously on the grill, but cantaloupe and honeydew can work too. Here’s one of my favorite ways to grill up watermelon.
1) Slice your melon: You can grill melon on the rind or in chunks. With smaller chunks, you may want to thread them on skewers so they don’t slide through the grill grates.
2) Brush with oil: Choose a mild oil like canola or grapeseed.
3) Combine with cheese: To make a killer side salad, combine grilled watermelon with feta or goat cheese. Add even more flavor with herbs like mint, cilantro or parsley.
4) Finish it off: Drizzle the melon with a balsamic glaze or a combo of red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Recipe to try: Grilled Watermelon Salad
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.