So it’s Father’s Day, and of course your natural reaction is to toss a whole bunch of meat on the grill. But what if instead of (or alongside of) all of that meat, you filled up your grill with…fruit? Grilled fruit is incredibly tasty, a real crowd-pleaser, and best of all it’s just about the easiest thing you can grill.
Just about any fruit will work well on the grill as long as you prepare it properly. The heat caramelizes the natural sugar in the fruit, bringing a deep intensity to the flavors. And most of us have access to such a good selection of fruit in the summertime that it’s practically a crime not to grill some of it as long as you have the heat on anyway. Summertime grilling favorites include peaches, strawberries, pineapple, bananas, nectarines, cherries and raspberries.
To get ready for our Father’s Day fruit-grilling, we assembled a plate of fruit that was cut and cored but not peeled (so for example, we left the skin on the pears and pineapple but cut out the cores). Then we sprinkled just a little bit of sugar on each of the cut pieces. If you are grilling bananas, you need to dot each piece with a small amount of butter so that it won’t stick to the grill. And for small and/or fragile fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or cherries, you’ll want to arrange them on a piece of foil so that the pieces don’t fall through the grill. We also covered our raspberries with a dash of balsamic vinegar, so as they grilled they came out a little saucier.
Once you preheat the grill, watch the temperature very carefully. We tried to keep the grill no higher than 300 degrees. It helps to stand right next to the grill so you can make sure your fruit doesn’t burn. As soon as you see some nice grill marks on your fruit, flip them over.
After we served this plate of fruit, we were tickled by the reactions. “It tastes just like peach pie but without the crust!” exclaimed one young taster. Our seven-year-old was most impressed with the grilled pineapple. “This is amazing – did we just invent this?” he wanted to know. “Because we have to tell everyone to try it!” OK – done.
Weekend Fun Food: Because food should be fun.