Grill More Fruit
Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: Jessica Goldman Foung (a.k.a. Sodium Girl) is giving her fruit some fire.
Throughout most of the year, there are five main tastes to play with: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. But during the summer, when the grill fires up, an unofficial sixth taste busts its way into the flavor game: smoky. And while that little bit of heat and char is what makes juicy burgers taste so good, it also does wonders for your fruit, too — just imagine the potential ambrosia makeover.
Why grill fruit? For one, it means that you can cook an entire meal, from appetizer to dessert, in one place, which minimizes cleanup. But more importantly, grilling will caramelize the natural sugars in fruit, and lock in its flavor.
So save room on the grill and use these tips to fire up your summer produce. Because your fruit deserves more than a salad bowl.
What Fruit To Use
Honestly, anything fresh and in season will work. Just make sure to pick produce that’s just slightly ripe; firmer fruit stands up better to the heat.
How to Prep Fruit
It’s best to leave the peels on your fruit — this will help hold its shape.
As for knife work:
- Cut larger fruit — like watermelon, mango, pineapple, and cantaloupes — into wedges.
- Cut medium-sized, rounder fruit — like avocados, bananas, apples, figs, citrus, peaches, and pears — in half and remove pits, cores, and seeds. (Then fill up those pockets with everything from couscous to ice cream.)
- For small fruit — like berries, tomatoes, and grapes — or slices of fruit, use skewers or a grill basket.
Then, be sure to brush the fleshy side with neutral oil (coconut, grapeseed, canola) or melted butter before hitting the grill.
How to Give Fruit Flare
Fruit loves a good marinade or a glaze. Go sweet (citrus juice, maple syrup, honey); go savory (vinegar, herbs, and even barbecue sauce); go spicy (chili powder, smoked paprika, a curry blend); or go off the wagon with a splash of bourbon or Grand Marnier.