The secret to grilled fruit success comes with picking the right produce. Not all fruits will perform well on the grates, but the majority do, and those that particularly excel include peaches, pineapple, plantains, watermelon, and strawberries. Grilling causes the sugars in fruit to caramelize, and it brings out a smoky flavor in the produce. Today, we’re highlighting recipes from around the Web that detail how you can get these five fruits on the grill and then in your stomach. Mustard and ketchup won’t be required to accompany any of these fruit formulas, but you will need some olive oil.
1. Grilled Peaches With Vanilla Ice Cream
We’re coming out of the gate strong with this recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking. You really have no reason not to cook these peaches for an after-dinner treat: they take all of four minutes to prepare, and they’re relatively healthy, all things considered. All you need for this deceptively decadent dessert are peaches, canola oil, and vanilla ice cream.
- 2 ripe peaches
- canola oil
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
Directions: Heat grill to medium-high heat. Brush peach halves with a touch of oil and place on the grill for a few moments, then rotate 90 degrees to continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes total, until grill marks are present and the peaches are softer. Remove from grill with a pair of tongs and serve with a scoop of ice cream in the center of the peach.
2. Grilled Ripe Plantains
Next is this recipe for grilled plantains from Epicurious. This Cuban delicacy is usually fried, but don’t doubt its flavor when grilled. As long as you have some over-ripe plaintains, you’re good to go. Grab butter, sugar, and apple cider, and prepare to take a take a bite out of grilled heaven.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 very ripe (black) plantains
Directions: To prepare the butter glaze, place the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved in it. Add the vinegar and stir well. Remove from heat and set aside. To prepare, grill, and serve the plantains: heat your grill to high (550 degrees Fahrenheit) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium high (450 degrees Fahrenheit) and continuing.
Oil the grill grates with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel held with a long pair of tongs. Slice the unpeeled plantains in half lengthwise and place them cut side down on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the plantains over and baste the cut sides of the plantains with the butter glaze. Close the lid and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Brush a bit more glaze on the plantains before removing them from the grill. Serve the plantains in their skins while hot from the grill.
3. Honey Glazed Grilled Pineapple
For this recipe from Food Network, you simply marinate your pineapple in honey, lime juice, and cinnamon, and then throw it on the grill for a few minutes. As long as you keep an eye on your fruit — you don’t want to char it — we promise your guests will be satisfied.
- 1/4 cup honey
- juice of 2 limes (depending on how juicy the limes are)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch thick rings, core removed
- 3/4 cup vanilla ice cream
Directions: In a baking dish, mix together the honey, lime juice, and cinnamon. Place the pineapple slices in the glaze and let marinate 2 hours, turning occasionally. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Place the pineapple slices on the preheated grill. Grill on both sides until the glaze caramelizes and grill marks form, about 2 minutes per side. To serve, place the pineapple slices on individual plates and top with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle the remaining honey syrup over the top.
4. Grilled Watermelon Salad
Serve this grilled watermelon salad from Fine Cooking alongside burgers and hotdogs at your next cookout and you’re basically offsetting any fat and calories you consume from the meat. This salad is so packed with flavor that you wouldn’t believe it’s so healthy.
- 1 small red or yellow watermelon (3-4 pounds), preferably seedless and not too ripe
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the melon
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
- juice of 1 large navel orange
- pinch of sea or kosher salt, or more to taste
- pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Directions: Preheat a gas grill or build a charcoal fire for direct grilling. Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half. Cut these quarters into 2-inch-thick slices. Brush the slices lightly with olive oil and set aside until ready to grill. Combine lime and orange juices. Taste. If it is too tart, add more orange juice. It should taste like a “sour” orange. Add the salt and cayenne pepper and whisk continually while adding the oil in a thin stream. Whisk until thickened (emulsified). Taste and adjust the oil and salt to your liking. Add the mint and set aside.
Just before serving, place the oiled watermelon slices on a clean cooking grate directly over the heat source. Grill until marked and just warmed through but still crunchy, 2-3 minutes per side. Let cool. Cut off the rinds and discard. Cut the watermelon into chunks and place in a serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss gently. Top with the feta, if desired, and sprinkle with another pinch of cayenne.
5. Balsamic Grilled Strawberries
Last but not least are these balsamic grilled Strawberries from Food.com. Don’t be the last to jump on the balsamic bandwagon — hop on now, and we promise someone will have to force you to get off at your stop.
- 8 large strawberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Directions: Preheat grill to high. Coat strawberries with balsamic vinegar, then roll in the sugar. Place on a hot grill to mark, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.