The Thrill of the Grill

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So I'm not much of a runner, but I can tell you it's not the heat hindering my pace lately, it's the grill. Early evening runs through my neighborhood are nearly impossible this time of the year, especially on weekends when intoxicating scents from backyard grills drift through the air in every direction. Savory smells of barbecue and hickory chips tease my nose tempting me to hurdle high fences and offer my assistance in the taste testing department. Probably not the best way to meet The Joneses, huh?

Not to be outdone by our über-grilling neighbors, the children and I gave Tony a Big Green Egg for Father's Day. Basically we've become backyard barbecue ninjas. Our motto is if you can eat it, you can grill it. We may need an intervention at some point. In the meantime, we’ve tried just about every possibility on the grill, from beer can chicken to brick oven pizza.

Who knew you could grill pizza? Or lettuce? Or avocados? We’ve launched into a whole new grill-o-sphere, folks. And peaches? You won’t believe how the caramelized juicy fruit will change your life. Ok, life-changing may be a slight exaggeration, but please be sure to toss extra peaches on the grill when you make the bruschetta. I promise you’ll want extra for dessert. Nothing says summer better than grilled peaches and vanilla ice cream.

You don’t need a Big Green Egg for our favorite recipes. Whatever grill you may have at your vacation rental, or at home, will work just fine for this summer inspired grill-a-thon.

Happy Grilling!

 

Grilled Red, White & Blue Salad

Inspired by summer's patriotic holidays, this spin on the classic wedge salad is mouth watering, all-American good.

Photo Credit: Kristin Schell

Photo Credit: Kristin Schell

  • 3 - 4 romaine hearts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Slice romaine hearts in half lengthwise. Peel off any old leaves. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to make vinaigrette. Brush the lettuce hearts all over with the vinaigrette. Grill the romaine hearts cut side down, approximately 3 - 5 minutes.

Place the tomato halves in a grill basket or straight on the grill and grill 2-3 minutes, until juices begin to flow. Tomatoes should be softened, but not falling apart. Remove the romaine hearts, top with grilled tomatoes, blue cheese, and walnuts. Serves 6 - 8. 

 

Grilled Peach Bruschetta

Photo Credit: Kristin Schell

Photo Credit: Kristin Schell

  • 3 - 4 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 small loaf sourdough bread, sliced
  • 4 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, gently torn

 

Mix olive oil, rosemary, and a generous pinch of sea salt in a small bowl.  Brush half the oil onto peach halves. Brush the remaining olive oil on bread slices.

Grill peaches pit side down until deeply caramelized, about 3-4 minutes. You want defined, but not burned, grill marks. Grill bread until lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes.

Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese on each slice of grilled bread. Top each bruschetta slice with grilled peaches and garnish with fresh mint. Serves 6 - 8.

 

Grilled Avocados filled with Pineapple Salsa

A delicious and crowd-pleasing appetizer or side dish. For added flavor grill the pineapple too!

  • 3 - 4 avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Coarse sea salt

Brush avocado slices with olive oil. Grill avocado halves pit side down until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes.Remove from grill. Squeeze limes over grilled avocados and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Fill each avocado half with pineapple salsa. Serves 6 - 8.

 

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, diced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt & pepper

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir gently until well combined. Serves 6 - 8.

What’s the best thing on your grill this summer?