7 Healthy Ways to Grill Fresh Fruit Before the End of Summer
These recipes will steal a peach of your heart.
I’ve always loved to cook but I struggled for a very long time with identifying what produce was native to which season. Grocery stores often carry products out of their peak growing period, making it hard to figure out which products actually belong in your fridge during which time of year. Once I started shopping locally and going to greenmarkets, however, I learned all about what produce is best to eat during what season.
During the summer, stands are filled with juicy tomatoes, spicy arugula, creamy avocadoes, tender zucchini and sweet corn. More recently, however, I've been appreciating the many berries, stone fruits and melons that decorate the market tables. And, as a result, I’ve been buying peaches, plums, raspberries and strawberries like it’s my day job! I’ve been tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper, then throwing them on a grill pan (I wish I had a real grill, but that’s definitely a violation of my lease!). The fruit caramelizes beautifully, sweetens up really nicely and perfectly pairs with a wide array of sweet and savory flavors.
If you haven’t grilled fruit before, you’re going to want to before summer is officially over. The following recipes are a perfect place to start your own fruit adventures, but be sure to adapt them to your tastes, preferences and what’s available at your local market!
Grilled Watermelon and Mint Salad (pictured above)
When it comes to summer, two things always come to mind: watermelon and grilling. So, why not combine the two and have the most summery dish possible? Bursting with sweet, juicy grilled watermelon, fresh blueberries, chopped mint, balsamic vinegar and crumbled feta cheese, this salad is filled with salty, sweet, acidic and fresh flavors, resulting in a refreshing summertime side that works well for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.
No one ever said fruit couldn’t be savory and the proof is in the plums when it comes to this dish! This refreshing recipe utilizes fresh plums to add a natural sweetness to grilled chicken. Tossed with olive oil, cayenne, allspice and salt, the plums maintain their texture when grilled and adopt a spicy, aromatic quality from the spices. Serve both the chicken and the plums with blanched broccoli and a lemon-garlic-yogurt sauce for a well-rounded meal any day.
Leave the jarred salsa on the shelf and make this Grilled Peach and Tomato Salsa instead. Charring the peaches and tomatoes on the grill fills this colorful dish with a refreshing fragrance. Garnish with plenty of cilantro and be sure to pair it with the perfect corn tortilla chips for a festive snack or yummy appetizer.
The fun never stops with stone fruits — from cherries to peaches, peaches to mangoes, mangoes to almonds, the options are truly endless! Cue this super simple recipe. All you do is grill the fruit, make the simple syrup (a delicate balance of balsamic vinegar, ginger root, brown sugar and black pepper) and plate!
Go wild with this Grilled Mango with Jalapenos recipe. To start, brush planks of mango with oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Next, grill the mango slices, topping with lime juice, hot jalapenos, crunchy cilantro and Mexican crema for a roasty, toasty, smoky taste. Serve this dish alongside some fish tacos or as a zesty breakfast dish — regardless of when you enjoy it, it'll leave you wanting more!
Something I never thought to do was grill strawberries; but then I tried these fruit kebabs and the rest is history. To start, thread six strawberries on wooden stewers. Then brush a luscious layer of vegetable oil and maple syrup across each one, grilling until nicely charred on each side. Drizzle with a zesty lemon-mint sauce and serve with a buttery slice of pound cake for a quick dessert.
Picture this: Sweet, juicy grilled peaches, spicy arugula tossed in a bright lemony dressing and salty bresaola sitting on your plate at the end of a long day. The bright arugula works to highlight the honey notes in the peaches, while the peaches work to balance the bitter notes of the arugula. Enjoy this meal with a glass of chardonnay and be sure to eat this one on your deck, roof or porch because it’s simply too delightful to eat inside (especially when the weather is as beautiful as it's been lately!)