Explore Unique Flavors Of BBQ & Grilled Fruits & Veggies

As the weather turns warm, it’s time to dust off the grill and get ready for some outdoor cooking adventures. While barbecues are often associated with sizzling meats, let’s not overlook the opportunity to include fruits and vegetables on the grill. From smoky eggplant to the tropical sweetness of caramelized pineapple, there’s a whole world of flavors waiting to be explored. Grilling fruits and vegetables are like hitting the jackpot of flavor– it’s both super healthy and incredibly delicious. You get loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other good stuff that help your body work its best.

Here are some tips and inspiration for incorporating more fruits and veggies into your next summer BBQ feast.

Before we set sail on our culinary journey, let’s make sure our produce is prepped to perfection:

  • Uniformity is Key: Slice your fruits and veggies uniformly to ensure even cooking. Harder vegetables like carrots need to be in smaller pieces than the softer vegetables such as squash or eggplant which do best in planks or thicker slices. Don’t forget to marinate them for an extra flavor punch.
  • Oil Up: Brushing your produce with oil before grilling helps prevent sticking and adds flavor. Experiment with different seasonings, such as garlic powder, smoked paprika, or chili flakes, to enhance the taste.
  • Protect Produce: Invest in a grill basket or skewers to prevent smaller pieces of produce from falling through the grates, expanding your grilling ability.
  • Soak Away: If wooden skewers are used, remember to soak them in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning while grilling.

Global Inspiration

Now, let’s take a culinary journey around the world to discover unique flavors for BBQ fruits and veggies:

Mediterranean-Inspired Grilled Eggplant
Slice eggplant into rounds, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly charred. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a drizzle of tahini dressing and a sprinkle of walnuts for a savory treat inspired by Mediterranean cuisine.

Caribbean-Inspired Grilled Pineapple
Cut pineapple into spears and grill until caramelized, then brush with a mixture of lime juice, maple syrup, and coconut for a deliciously sweet tangy flavor straight from the Caribbean.

Mexican Street Corn
Grill whole ears of corn until charred, then slather with a mixture of mayonnaise, lime juice, and chili powder. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and chopped cilantro for an authentic taste of Mexico. Enjoy it plain or add it to pasta for a Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower
Toss cauliflower florets with a blend of Indian spices, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, along with a drizzle of oil. Grill until tender and lightly charred, then serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a burst of flavor.

Middle Eastern Grilled Halloumi
Slice halloumi cheese into thick slices and grill until golden brown. Serve alongside a grilled caprese salad or a refreshing cucumber and tomato salad for a taste of the Middle East.

French-Inspired Grilled Ratatouille
Coat bite-size chunks of zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper and eggplant in oil and seasoning. Grill until tender and lightly charred, then serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and basil. Any leftovers can easily be added to your breakfast omelet.

Grilled Mango-Banana Skewers
Skewer banana and mango chunks, drizzle with honey-cinnamon mixture, and grill until warm. Prepare to be reaching for a second helping!

With a bit of creativity and adventurous spirit, you can transform ordinary fruits and vegetables into extraordinary BBQ delights. Whether you’re drawn to the bold flavors of Mexican street corn or the aromatic spices of Indian grilled cauliflower, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and embark on a culinary journey around the world from the comfort of your backyard. Your taste buds will thank you!

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