Okay, so living in small spaces not many of us have a grill, but any of these items can be made on a grill pan for the same effect. If you’re lucky enough to make a meal on a gas or charcoal grill this summer, give one of these surprising foods a try. I promise you’ll never reserve the grill for only red meat and chicken again!
- Cheese – Choose a dense cheese or one with a strong rind like, Halloumi, queso fresco or Brie (with the rind on). Brush each side with a little canola or olive oil and grill over medium-low heat until grill marks appear. Serve with fruit or tomatoes as an appetizer or an unexpected dessert.
- Melon – Watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew make great grill mates. The heat from the grill caramelizes the sugar giving the melon a wonderful smoky flavor. Try eating with fresh prosciutto and mozzarella cheese for a riff on a classic appetizer.
- Shellfish – Throw some oysters or clams in a grill basket and put directly on the grate over high heat. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes until the shells open. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon juice, cocktail sauce or mignonette. You could even toss the bivalves in some pasta with garlic and olive oil for a simple weeknight meal.
- Pizza- Roll pizza dough out and brush one side with canola oil or a hearty olive oil. Place directly on the grate and cook for 2-3 minutes until grill marks form. Brush the uncooked side with more oil and flip, cook for another minute or so. Put your toppings on. Cover the grill and cook for another 10 minutes until the toppings are done and dough is crispy.
- Avocado – Cut in half, remove pit and skin. Brush with canola oil or a hearty olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill over medium-high heat. The result is a creamy, rich flavor that really brings out the best in the avocado. Serve as is or add to guacamole or salad for a smokey twist.
- Pineapples, Peaches, Nectarines – Cut in half, remove pit and brush with canola or hearty olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat. Like the melon, the result is a beautiful caramelized version of the fruit. Serve as dessert with ice cream or whipped cream. For a savory twist, cut and use in a fruit salsa or relish.
- Romaine Lettuce – Wash and dry well. Brush with olive oil and place directly on the grill grates over medium heat until the lettuce begins to wilt. Serve as a side dish to chicken, lamb or beef or as a warm salad with a vinaigrette.
- Herbs – Throw a sprig of rosemary or thyme on the grill for 30 second to a minute just to heat and release oils. Add to marinades or even cocktails.
- Cake – Choose a dense cake like pound cake. Brush both sides with melted butter and put directly on the grill over medium heat. Cook just until grill marks for. Serve as dessert with chocolate sauce, fruit or ice cream.
- Citrus Fruit- Cut lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit in half and place directly on the grill. Cook until grill marks form and serve as a garnish for fish or chicken.
If all this grill talk is making you long for more than a grill pan, check out this nifty indoor grill.