You read that right – grill…your…fruit, add some market greens, some seeds or nuts, a little cheese, maybe a light dressing, or just a little local honey. Dinner (or lunch) is served.
The first time I saw Bobby Flay grilling pineapples I fell in love with the idea. However, the first time I burned the pineapples to the grill, I didn’t feel it reciprocated. But, don’t let that get you down, some fruits are more forgiving than others. And, to help you out, I draw from my experiences to give you a short list.
Fruits ranked from easiest along with recipe ideas:
1. Stone fruits – apricots, peaches, plums, mangos, and nectarines. Use as a center piece to salads or in a bowl topped with ice cream. For either version, I start by halving the fruit and releasing and disposing of the stone. Toss lightly in oil and place cut side down on hot grates for 1-2 minutes, rotate a quarter turn and leave for another 30 seconds to a minute. Next flip over to skin side for 1-2 minutes. If using for salads, remove from heat and cut into desired size for salad. If going for dessert, remove from heat, drizzle with honey, and scoop in vanilla ice cream or greek yogurt.
2. Citrus – lemons, limes, pineapple…mostly lemons. When I grill lamb chops, I also grill lemons. The hot juice and pulp of the lemons spreads over the chops to add a brilliant citrus zing that your guests will go on and on about. Simply. wash and half the lemons, place cut side down on the top rack of the grill for 1 minute, give them a quarter turn and another minute before flipping over and onto a side plate.
For the pineapple, I have found that a light toss in vegetable oil helps it to release from the grill. My favorite thing to do with grilled pineapple is to chop it up with grilled or raw mango and fresh mint to serve as chutney. Adding peppers and/or some red onion and cilantro can turn this into a fun salsa.
Whatever you do, please take time to grill your fruit!