The grill can seem like a one-trick pony. Burgers (and the occasional steak) sizzle on the pages of food magazines and at neighborhood cookouts. But what about grilled watermelon? And cabbage? And eggplant? The grill is good for so much more than slabs of beef, and it can be a considerable weapon in the fight to cook good food and keep your kitchen cool all summer long.
And hey, you there — yes, you without a grill! I can see you getting ready to flick right by this post. But many of the recipes here aren't doomed by the absence of a grill. Try a grilled salad, seared on a cast iron pan instead, or cabbage wedges with a spicy dressing. Grill or grill-less, charcoal or gas, meat-eater or vegetarian, here are 15 less-expected foods to grill, each a reason to grab inspiration from cooking with fire.
Recipe: Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing
I'm such a fan of throwing almost any fruit or vegetable on the grill. The best Caesar salad is made with lightly charred romaine lettuce; peaches and nectarines get a shot of smoke and suddenly they taste riper and sweeter.
The grill is also wonderful for bread, like no-knead bread, which bakes right in its pot on the grill and leaves your kitchen cool. And of course pizza — this is a well-known way to get the best pizza you've ever made.
And while this roundup focuses mostly on vegetarian goodness, don't overlook the less common meats and seafood on the grill. Everyone knows about grilled salmon and shrimp, but what about oysters? And why not try a pork tenderloin, instead of burgers?
Grill need some clean-up first? Try one of our favorite tips for cleaning your grill after cooking:
15 Foods to Grill This Summer
- Cabbage: Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing
- Cactus: Grilled Cactus and Corn Salad
- Carrots: Grilled Carrots with Lemon and Dill
- Cauliflower: Why You Should Throw On Some Cauliflower
- Cheese: Grilled Halloumi & Quinoa Salad
- Eggplant: Grilled Eggplant Topped with Goat Cheese and Tomato
- Figs: Grilled Figs with Honeyed Mascarpone
- Flatbread: Flatbread Stuffed with Curried Potatoes, Spinach, and Chickpeas
- Kale: Garlicky Grilled Kale Salad with Grilled Bread
- Guacamole & Avocados: Grilled Guacamole
- No-Knead Bread: How To Bake No-Knead Bread On the Grill
- Oysters: How to Grill Oysters at Home
- Pizza: How To Grill Pizza
- Pork: Grilled Pork Loin
- Watermelon: Vegetarian Grilling: Try Watermelon!
Essential Grill Recipe: Grilled Chicken Legs with Dijon & White Wine Glaze
Here's a look back at the classic meaty cook-out essentials, too.
Dessert Recipe: Grilled Figs with Honeyed Mascarpone
A Few More Grilling Tips
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)