Quick Summer Grillin’ Ideas For Fresh Fruit & Veggies

With the 4th of July weekend just around the corner and many backyard Bar-B-Q grills getting fired up for a good long weekend workout, you may want to experiment with some new or different culinary choices and still manage to stay on the healthy side. It’s very realistic and possible with so many summer fruits and veggies in plentiful supply and generally best prices of the year if  purchased now (especially at farmer’s markets or roadside produce stands).

So here are a few ideas to “get your grill on” or at least get you started and you can adjust seasoning suggestions according to you and your family’s tastes. Many of the suggestions listed below will probably take less time to prepare and grill than it takes to watch your coals turn white. (If you use gas, they’re still almost as fast as heating up the grill.) A few of these edible concoctions feature ingredients like corn, eggplant and tomatoes, which might be better suited a month from now, at least in certain parts of the country. However there are quite a few suggestions for foods that are in season right now that everybody doesn’t necessarily think of putting on the grill. You might wanna make note that salt and pepper are generally added to each of the following in moderation according to you personal preferences .

So Let’s Get Grillin’

  • Best Grilled Artichokes — Cut artichokes in half, scoop out the choke, parboil until tender. Grill, cut-side down, until lightly browned; grill a couple of halved lemons, too. Combine the juice from the grilled lemons with melted butter and spoon over the artichokes. Finish with parsley.
  • Grill Bread — Grind in a food processor to make coarse bread crumbs. (You can add garlic and/or parsley and/or Parmesan, or not.) Grill asparagus until tender. Top with bread crumbs and olive oil.
  • Tahini Tofu Steaks — Thin Tahini with lots of lemon juice and some minced garlic. Cut a brick of firm tofu into four slabs and brush with sesame oil. Grill over a moderate fire, turning a few times, until marked and crisp outside and custardy inside. On the last turn, baste with the Tahini sauce. Serve on thick tomato slices with a drizzle of soy sauce and chopped basil, Thai if possible.
  • For perfectly ripe Tomatoes only — Grill tomatoes, any size, until hot and lightly charred but not bursting. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with fresh mozzarella (or, even better, Burrata) and grilled bread.
  • Grilled Guacamole — Halve and pit avocados; lightly char them, then scoop out the flesh. Grill halved red onion, too. Chop, combine, add tomatoes, lime, garlic and spices if you like.
  • Rub thick Zucchini slices with a mixture of fresh or dried dill, yogurt, olive oil and lemon. (Or use pesto or parsley pesto.) Grill slowly.
  • Lightly char whole or halved heads of baby Bok Choy; drizzle with soy sauce and top with chopped scallions.
  • Peel and thickly slice a not overly ripe Mango. Brush very lightly with neutral oil and grill just until softened; sprinkle with cilantro and/or mint and lime juice (you might as well grill the lime first, too).
  • Grill Pineapple (or anything, really, from pork to tofu to eggplant). Make a sauce of half-cup peanut butter, a tablespoon (or more) soy sauce, a dash (or more) sriracha chili sauce, a handful of basil or mint and enough warm water to thin. (It’s tempting to say, “Throw away the pineapple and eat the sauce,” but the combination is sensational.)
  • Grill Red, Orange and/or Yellow Peppers — Toss with olives, capers, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Charred Salsa Verde — Toss whole husked tomatillos, scallions and jalapeños in olive oil and grill until charred. Remove the blackened skin from the chilies and chop or blend everything with diced avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Eat with chips or top grilled chicken with it.
  • Lightly grill ripe Figs — Brush with balsamic. Chop and toss with arugula and blue cheese. Sprinkle with olive oil.
  • Ratatouille — Grill chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, eggplant, onion and tomatoes (or use cherry tomatoes), all until lightly browned and perfectly tender. Toss with fresh marjoram or oregano, thyme, basil and olive oil.

For more Quick Summer Cookin’ and Grillin’ Ideas —

— check this LINK from the New York Times on Today