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Rethink Your Next BBQ Menu

Now that the weather is finally starting to show signs of spring, many of us are breaking out the grill.  With Memorial Day right around the corner, there are plenty of backyard BBQ opportunities over the next few months.  I know the typical grilling menu consists of burgers, hot dogs, steaks and chicken, but have you considered mixing it up a bit this year with adding fruits and veggies to your next grilling event?

I’m not suggesting to omit the standard fare entirely–simply provide some alternative options.  Fruit and vegetables are delicious on the grill!  Grilling actually enhances their natural flavors and caramelizes the sugars in fruits.  Plus, it’s really simple.  Vegetables do best when brushed with a high quality oil and sprinkled with a few herbs or soaked in a favorite marinade.  Don’t limit yourself to the traditional grilling fruits and veggies either.  Smaller sized produce can be wrapped in foil or placed in a grill basket and then placed on a grill.

Something to remember is that fruit and vegetables do cook faster than meat so you’ll have to keep and eye on them and you won’t want to place them over a high flame or else they’ll end up charred.  If you’re using wooden skewers for kebabs, make sure you soak them well so they don’t burn while over the flame.  Some great veggies to use for kebabs include bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, eggplant and onion.

For an interesting twist on a grill menu, try Grilled Mushroom Medley Pizza.  Different kinds of mushrooms, grape tomatoes and baby arugula make this a perfect dish for summer.

pizza

Dessert for your BBQ is simple.  No need to heat up your kitchen with baking, when the grill is ready.  A simple dessert idea is to grill peaches, add ricotta cheese and drizzle some honey over them.  You can garnish with a few fresh mint leaves.

peaches

Many fruits are delicious on the grill–pineapple, watermelon, apples and bananas just to name a few.  Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Check out this Insider’s Viewpoint article for even more helpful tips on grilling fruits and veggies.  Give it a go the next time you have guests and I’ll bet you’ll “wow” them with your culinary skills!  Happy grilling!

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