Grilled Summer Fruit


Summer fruits grilled to perfection are a fantastic accompaniment to grilled meats and fish. Or serve them for dessert!

By FamilyTime

 

If you haven’t tasted grilled fruit it may seem odd to contemplate, but it’s fantastic! Many fruits, once grilled, caramelize just a little and turn even sweeter. They taste great with grilled meat, poultry, and fish.

Grilled fruit also happens to make delicious summer desserts. Serve it over ice cream, sorbet, or sherbet, or topped with fresh whipped cream. It’s also pretty terrific on its own.

Fruits for the Grill
Not all fruits are worthy of the grill, but those that are taste amazing. Some of the best are pineapple, peaches, nectarines, plums, and bananas. These stand up to the heat of the grill and the spices of marinades.

Consider the fruits you like with various other foods when deciding which fruits to pair with which meat, fish, or poultry. For instance, apples are great with pork or chicken; peaches and nectarines are nice with lighter fish; pineapple can stand up to beef yet it’s also good with pork. Most fruits marry with lamb.

Prepare the Grill
Always begin with a clean grill. This is never more important than when grilling fruit, which is more delicate than other foods and picks up the residual flavors of onions, garlic, meat, or fish.

To clean your grill, use an oven spray cleaner and follow directions. Or heat the gas grill for 15 minutes on high. Use a long-handled wire brush to clean any residue from the grill.

Before grilling, build a medium-high fire or heat the gas grill to medium-high. Fruit needs good heat but not overpowering heat.

Fruit cooks in two to four minutes, turning once or twice, depending on the size of the fruit. Large chunks may require a little longer.

Grilling Fruit with Meats and Fish
Marinades, barbecue sauces, and pestos all work together with the fruit and the meat or fish. For instance, a double-cut pork chop served with grilled peaches and a rum barbecue sauce is mouth-watering.

Because you don’t want to brush a marinade in which raw meat or poultry has soaked over grilling food, make a sauce for last-minute brushing. Cook the pork chops until nearly done, push them to the edge of the grill, and then grill the peaches. Brush both the meat and the fruit with a rum sauce just before taking from the grill. Serve any extra on the side.

Grilling fish and fruit together is a fabulous alternative to serving grilled fish alone. Try a firm white fish such as haddock or halibut, a firmer fish such as swordfish, or shellfish such as scallops or shrimp.

Fish and fruit such as nectarines can be marinated together in a cider-based marinade. Thread chunks of fish and fruit on skewers and cook together over low-burning coals.

Brush simple pestos over nearly grilled meat, fish, and fruit. This provides a flavor wallop but one that works with the grilled food.

Grilled Fruits for Dessert
Bananas can be grilled directly in their skin until it blackens, or they can be cooked until soft in the microwave and then grilled to caramelize.

Pineapples are wonderful grilled as rings or cut into chunks and skewered. Other fruits do best skewered or wrapped in foil.

Since they take only minutes, keep the grill alive during the main course by adding fresh coals before you sit down to dinner. The fire will be perfect for fruit, just in time for dessert.

Leftovers – if there are any -- can be stored in the refrigerator for two days. Serve them warm or chilled as a side dish or as dessert.