5. FruitsEven Berries
The char of the grill quickly caramelizes the sugars in fruit, bringing out their natural sweetness, and a vast array of fruits, both big and small, can stand up to the heat. We recommend peaches, grapes, bananas, strawberries, melon, and plums. Thread smaller fruit, like berries, onto skewers (presoaked, if wooden) to keep the fruit from falling through the grates. For larger varieties such as melons, cut the fruit into easily manageable chunks. Stone fruit should be halved and pitted before cooking. Lightly oil the grill grates and prepare the grill for cooking over direct, medium-high heat. Cooking times vary, from 3 to 6 minutes, with larger fruits, of course, taking longer than smaller ones. Grilled fruit makes an effortless summer dessert, but it can also be an excellent and unexpected accompaniment to grilled meats and fish.
When you think of grilled cheese, the classic sandwich probably comes to mind. This summer, ditch the bread and head to the grill for a whole new way to experience your favorite fromage. Firm cheeses that resist melting, such as Halloumi or Queso Blanco, can be sliced about 1/2 inch thick, lightly oiled, and cooked over direct, medium-high heat. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes, flipping about halfway through, until there are visible grill marks and the cheese is heated all the way through. Cheeses with a thick bloomy rind, like Brie or Camembert, can be grilled on a cedar plank (presoaked in warm water for 30 minutes), covered, over indirect, medium-high heat. Use small, whole wheels of cheese, about 8 ounces each, and place in the center of the cedar plank. Grill for about 15 minutes, until the wheel appears to sag a bit and the cheese is heated all the way through. These stretchy, chewy, gooey cheeses can be enjoyed plain or topped with fruit, and paired with bread or crackers. Just be sure to serve them while they're still warm, and you'll have an instant hit at any backyard bash.
Now you can have your cake and grill it, too. Just a few minutes over the flame will warm up slices of unfrosted cake while crisping the soft texture and adding a toasty depth to the flavor. Use completely cooled homemade cake or pick one up from your favorite bakery. Stick to cakes that don't crumble or fall apart easily, like angel food or pound cake, and cut 1- to 2-inch-thick slices. Lightly oil the grill grates and prepare the grill for cooking over indirect, medium heat. Place cake slices directly on the grill grates and cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Grill-toasted cake is delicious plain, but serve it with Greek yogurt or ice cream and fresh berries and it becomes sensational.
Why grill an olive? Why not! The firm flesh of these savory snacks can handle the heat of the grill, and the fire brightens their briny flavor. You can use any variety of olive you like, as long as they're pitted. Lightly oil the grill grates and prepare the grill for cooking over direct, medium-high heat. Thread pitted olives onto skewers (presoaked, if wooden) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. The warm, charred olives make tasty appetizers on their own, or they can be added to salads as well as meat, poultry, and fish dishes. A cocktail option: Garnish a chilled martini with a barbecued olive.
It's standard practice to serve lemon wedges with grilled fish, but you can take the magic of this cooking method even further by grilling your citrus, too. Cut fruitlemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit all work wellin half crosswise then lightly oil the grill grates and prepare the grill for cooking over direct, medium-high heat. Place the citrus, cut side down, directly on the grill, and cook until the fruit is warm throughout and medium-dark grill marks appear, 2 to 5 minutes. Squeeze the seared citrus over your favorite seafood dishes, or use the juice to pump up summer cocktails.