Winter is behind us and April showers are history. Now’s the time to pull out the grill and fire it up. May, designated as National Barbecue Month, is the perfect time to clean the grill, locate those tongs and mix up the special sauce that everyone loves. Grilling is the all-American summer pastime. Some famous cooks rose to fame by grilling, like Chef Bobby Flay, who wholeheartedly supports barbecue: “I love the culture of grilling. It creates an atmosphere that is festive but casual.”
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Hamburgers top the list of popular items for grilling, followed by steaks, hot dogs and chicken. But there’s no reason to stop with the entree; the entire meal can be cooked on the grill. Think vegetables and even dessert! Invite a few friends and throw your whole meal on the grill with these 12 non-meat foods that are great for grilling.
1. Cheese: Thick slices of aged provolone or halloumi cheese get soft and chewy but won’t melt over the grill. Halloumi is sheep’s milk cheese that grills quickly. It’s best served still warm when it’s soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Yum!
3. Salad: Lightly charred salad greens or cabbage make a great side. Still think it’s not possible to cook the entire meal on the grill? Try this recipe for grilled caesar salad to add spice to your summer menu.
4. Pizza: You’ll never want to heat up the oven again. Grill pizza the way the Italians have been doing it for centuries. Fire up the grill and spare the heat in the kitchen. It’s so easy to grill pizza, you’ll never bake it again.
5. Olives: Garnish a summer cocktail with grilled olives. Truth you can grill anything! Toss the olives with a bit of oil and some herbs and roast them lightly on skewers or aluminum foil. These make a great appetizer and add taste to any cocktail.
6. Peaches: A few minutes on the grill will caramelize peaches for a tasty dessert. It’s so simple you’ll kick yourself for not trying it sooner. Half the peaches, lightly brush with oil and grill for a few minutes. The peaches are great by themselves or fancy with a little yogurt or whipped cream.
7. Watermelon: Grilling turns sweet watermelon into a savory meal. Watermelon is a summer staple and a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats. Or grill it and mix it in a salad.
8. Scallop, orange, and cucumber kabobs. This one is to die for. It takes a creative mind like Martha Stewart to mix different tastes into one tasty dish. Her recipe is easy and pretty on the plate. Yes, it’s a good thing.
10. Cast-iron cornbread: Cornbread is the perfect side dish to barbecued chicken or pork. All you need is a skillet and a few minutes of prep time to turn out this cornbread dish straight off the grill. And you still keep your kitchen cool.
11. Let them eat cake! Make angel food or pound cake even tastier on the grill. For this simple yet elegant dessert, slice seasonal fresh fruit and grill thick slices of pound cake or angel food cake. Combine the two and add whipped topping.
12. Oysters: Throw fresh oysters (in the shell) on the grill. The oysters will steam on the grill and pop open when they’re done. Serve with melted butter, horseradish or hot sauce for a tasty and easy to do appetizer.