10 Family-Friendly Foods You'll Be Surprised You Can Grill
Don't just relegate pineapple to fruit salad; transform it into a delectable dessert by using the grill. Cut a peeled pineapple into ¾-inch thick slices or spears, and sprinkle the pieces them with brown sugar and cinnamon, turning to coat. Let sit 30 minutes. Grill the pineapple on oiled grates over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until grill marks appear on all sides, about 4 minutes. Serve the warm pineapple with scoops of vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert that your kids—and grown-ups—will love.
Newsflash: you can grill your avocados! After a stint on the grill, avocados become slightly warm and smoky and are a stellar accompaniment to grilled meats, fish, or tacos. Plus, since they're naturally bowl shaped, they can be stuffed with fillings such as tomatoes and mozzarella or peach salsa. To start, cut avocados in half and remove the pits (leave the peel on!). Sprinkle the cut sides with lime juice; brush them with olive oil; and season them with salt and pepper. Grill the avocados, cut side down, over medium-high heat, until grill marks form, about 2-3 minutes.
Lettuce on the grill may sound crazy, but it's easy and delicious. Halve or quarter a head of romaine; brush it lightly with olive oil; and season it with salt and pepper. Grill the lettuce over medium-high heat until it's browned and slightly wilted on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Caramelized on the outside and yet crisp in the center, grilled lettuce might just make your choosy eater a salad-lover after all. If you don't have romaine, escarole also works.
Forget the toaster! Instead, throw your bread on the grill. Brush ¾- to 1-inch thick slices of country style bread with olive oil; season them with salt and pepper; and grill them over medium-high heat until slightly charred and toasted on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Rub the grilled bread with garlic for a simple side dish; spoon marinated tomatoes over top as a quick appetizer; or top the bread with fresh ricotta cheese and grilled vegetables for a nutritious main course.
Peaches, apricots, and nectarines
For an awesome, kid-approved accompaniment to grilled pork, chicken or shrimp, look no further than your fruit basket. Peaches, apricots and nectarines become slightly smoky and caramelized after grilling, pairing wonderfully with meats and seafood. Halve the fruit and remove the pits. Brush the cut sides with olive oil or butter, and season them with salt and pepper. Grill the fruit over medium-low heat, cut sides down, until lightly charred and softened, about 3-5 minutes. For a dessert variation, brush the fruit with honey or maple syrup before grilling.
Cake on the grill? While it might seem strange, pound cake develops a fantastic toasty flavor and lightly crisp texture when grilled. Brush 1-inch thick slices of pound cake with melted butter, and grill them over medium heat on both sides until the slices turn golden with grill marks, about 1-2 minutes per side. Top the grilled pound cake with fresh berries or peaches and a dollop of whipped cream for a quick and easy summertime treat.
Ever thought you could grill cheese? Halloumi (a hard sheep's milk cheese) not only stands up beautifully to the heat of the grill, but it actually becomes even tastier in the process. Grill ½-inch slices of halloumi on oiled grill grates over medium-high heat until they're charred on the outside and soft in the middle, about 1 minute per side. Serve the halloumi with a salad or stuff it into pita bread for a delicious vegetarian sandwich.
If you want to make the ultimate sundae, then fire up the grill. Adding warm, grilled bananas to a bowl of ice cream is a total game changer. Cut bananas in half lengthwise, leaving the peels on. Place the bananas, cut side down, on oiled grill grates over medium heat. Cook until grill marks form, about 3 minutes. Turn the bananas over and brush them with honey or sprinkle them with brown sugar. Grill until tender, about 4-6 minutes longer. Peel the bananas and immediately serve them with ice cream. You might not even need the chocolate sauce and peanuts.
While it may sound surprising, grilling citrus fruits can take your grill game to a whole new level. Lemons, limes and oranges become sweeter and juicier on the grill and can transform ordinary grilled meats and fish into something special. Cut citrus fruits in half; brush them with olive oil; and grill over medium-high heat, cut side down, until browned and caramelized, about 2 minutes. Squeeze the juice over grilled chicken, pork, fish or shrimp to add instant pizzazz.
Warning: after you try grilling your pizza, you might never go back to the oven again. The grill creates a crispy, restaurant-style crust, and you're left with a clean and cool kitchen. Preheat a grill to high and oil the grates. Roll pizza dough into a 12- to 16-inch round, and brush it with olive oil on one side. Carefully lay the dough, oiled side down, on the grill grates. Brush the top with olive oil. Cook until the bottom is golden and set. Flip the dough over and immediately spread the top with sauce and add the cheese and toppings of your choice. Cover and cook until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted, about 1-4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly before slicing.