Out on a Grill: Unusual Foods for Your BBQ

The magic of your grill can do much more than cook meat and poultry to perfection. Grilling magic can turn many other foods into remarkably delicious treats too. Here are some ideas that are sure to surprise and delight.



You may already be familiar with the incredible taste of grilled vegetables, such as onions, asparagus, peppers, and zucchini. But there are others that you may never have considered.

Kale and Romaine Lettuce: Nutrient-rich kale is terrific on the grill for carnivores and vegetarians alike. All you need to do is cut off the stems and gently coat both sides of the kale leaves with olive oil (sesame also goes well) and soy sauce. Cook until leaves are browned and crisp.

You can do the same thing with romaine lettuce, which makes a great and tasty addition to salads. Just brush the leaves with olive oil, add salt, and maybe add some lemon juice too. Cook until their edges are brown and they are crisp to the touch.

Avocado: Grilled avocados are another great taste surprise. Brush them with olive oil and lime juice, and cook flesh-side-up for about three to five minutes. When done, just add a salsa or sour cream to the pit holes, and you have a whole new version on guacamole.


Watermelon: It may be hard to believe, but grilling watermelon may revolutionize the taste of this fruit for you. A good strategy is to cook 1 inch slices over a hot fire, making sure the grate is well-oiled. Grilled watermelon tastes great by itself, or serve it with honey and fresh mint.

Pineapple: Grilled pineapple is good for a side or dessert. Cut a ripe pineapple crosswise into 1-1.5 inch slices and cook until you see grill marks, approximately 4-6 minutes per side. They go well with different meats, as well as add flare to fruit salad.

Peaches: Halve and pit firm peaches, then cook on an oiled grill, and on a low heat setting, for approximately two to four minutes per side. Look for grill marks and make sure they are tender before removing. They are great with honey and yogurt.

Sardines, Pizza, and Polenta

Just a few last items for you to consider; fish is great on the grill, but have you ever considered sardines? Popular in southern Europe, sardines are great to sear. Just brush with oil and season with a Mediterranean rub of some kind.

Pizza may be the biggest surprise on this list. Just make it like you would in the oven—except use the grill. Clean and oil the grate, so the dough doesn’t stick. Cook the dough on both sides, before throwing toppings on. After another minute or two, you should have delicious pizza.

Polenta: This thick Italian cornmeal mush, when chilled and cut into rectangular slabs, can be grilled for an unusual and tasty side. Just brush with olive or butter, and season with salt and pepper. Oil the gate and cook the slabs until golden.

If you are planning a summer event and these ideas sound appealing, feel free to contact me. Jerry’s Kitchen does catering in Malvern, Doylestown, and across the greater Philadelphia region.

Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Bible

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