It’s time for summer grilling and this season our chefs are sharing their top 10 favorite #GrillBetter foods that go beyond your basic hot dogs and hamburgers. The best part? They’re easy enough for the weekend grill master and are healthy, too. Enjoy the delicious variety and make the most of your summer with family and friends.
1. Seafood: Top lightly seasoned salmon, tilapia, or tuna steaks with sautéed shallots or fennel and thinly sliced lemon. Place on a cedar or alder plank over medium heat and grill for 30 to 40 minutes as the seafood absorbs the wood flavor. Remember to soak the plank in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to avoid any charring or it catching fire.
2. Stone fruit: Peaches, plums, and nectarines burst with flavor when lightly grilled. Add a pinch of black pepper and a sprinkle of vanilla to bring out their sweetness even more. They’re great as appetizers, desserts, toppings, or tossed into salads. For a tasty salsa topping, combine grilled peach cubes, tomato chunks, minced garlic, chopped onions, and cilantro and top grilled steak, chicken or fish.
3. Eggplant: Slightly charred, crisp-edged eggplant slices are easy to prepare. Brush on olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of garlic salt and then grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Top with a little grated parmesan or a few crumbles of feta and serve.
4. Mushrooms: Add flavor to kabobs with mushrooms. Cut portabellas into pieces or use whole button or cremini mushrooms. The flavor combinations on a skewer are endless; try sliced cherry tomatoes and mushrooms marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil or mushrooms, peppers, and onions marinated in garlic, lemon, and oregano.
5. Peppers Grill red, green, orange, and yellow pepper slices and then toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a tasty side dish or sandwich topping.
6. Corn: Grill with husks or without husks or wrapped in foil. Brush on a little seasoned melted butter or a healthy oil after grilling. Use chives and hot sauce or lime juice and cilantro to season for added flavor. Seasonal corn is filled with flavor which makes it easy to #GrillBetter.
7. Tomatoes: Firm ripe tomatoes are perfect for grilling. Just cut them in half, remove watery pulp and seeds, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and ground pepper and then place cut side down on a grill rack over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or oregano flakes and serve.
8. Zucchini: After grilling sliced zucchini for about 5 to 7 minutes until tender, toss with lemon juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt, chopped scallions, and red chili peppers. Serve at room temperature and add summer veggies to your plate.
9. Jicama: Grilled jicama cooks quickly and is a good match for salsas. Grill jicama that was marinated in pineapple juice and olive oil, then create a jicama salsa with pineapple chunks and mandarin orange pieces. Add grilled jicama to blueberries and raspberries for a patriotic themed fruity salsa.
10. Carrots: Carrots are easy to grill and glaze. Carrots are sturdy and grill more quickly if blanched first. Top or toss with a variety of glazes to bring out the flavor. Try honey and balsamic, or a honey, rice wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper combination. For a sweet and savory glaze try maple syrup and mustard or maple syrup with lemon juice and thyme. Top with peanut or cashew crumbles and serve warm.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.