Grilling is a long-awaited summer activity. While grilling, we get to enjoy the great outdoors. Furthermore, we get to keep heat out of our houses. However we usually think of grilling as a way to cook meat and poultry, maybe fish. Occasionally we grill a ‘hobo pack’ of potatoes. How about broadening your horizons and your outdoor repertoire? Try these five ideas for unusual foods you can cook on the grill.
No need to heat up your oven and your house. You can bake fresh bread on the grill. A loaf of dough can be cooked in any heatproof pot with a tight lid. Try a dutch oven or camp stove, or even a cast iron skillet with lid. Or, roll the dough out into thin rounds, brush them with oil, and throw them right on the grill grates. In no time at all you’ll have the easiest, toastiest, most delicious flatbreads.
Cheese is the ultimate in unusual foods you can cook on the grill. You’d think it would melt and drip right into the fire. However, many Mediterranean and Mexican cheeses can be grilled. Their protein structure keeps them cohesive when heated. The heat renders them creamy with a lush mouthfeel. Also, the seared grill marks not only look attractive but bring a deep savory flavor. Try halloumi, queso de frier, or kefalotyri, for just a few examples.
While grilling vegetables is very common, consider saving some to eat cold as well as hot. Many grilled vegetables can enhance a salad with their smoky flavor and crisped edges. Try grilling summer squashes, thick asparagus, and any mushroom large enough to stay atop the grates. Also, halve some citrus and grill it cut side down. Then squeeze into your favorite vinaigrette recipe for an astonishing mellow, caramelized flavor. These low calorie easy to make recipes will add heft and interest to your salads. Also, they’ll fill you up in a cool and refreshing manner.
What can you cook with leftovers? Quesadillas and panini sandwiches are well known for their ability to use up odds and ends. A little roast or grilled meat, a few vegetables, all bound together by some cheese… However, try grilling these delights. The heat toasts and crisps the bread. The grill applies beautiful marks and delicious char. Best of all, the touch of smoke elevates the entire dish far beyond an afterthought.
Grilling fruit softens their flesh and intensifies their flavors. Most non-berry fruits can be grilled. Peaches or plums go nicely on slices of pound cake. Try grill-roasting bananas in their skins, then peel and serve with ice cream. A halved and seared cantaloupe can be served with thinly sliced prosciutto or other ham for a sweet-and-savory twist. The possibilities are endless!
It has been said that the true pit master recognizes the versatility of grilling. Try these unusual foods you can cook on the grill. Let them inspire you to discover more and more possibilities.