Fresh fruit is perfectly suited to open-flame cooking. The heat intensifies the flavors and caramelizes the sugars to create something far more than just cooked fruit. Many fruits can be grilled but some fruits work better than others. If you want to enhance your enjoyment of fresh produce, here are some of the best fruits to grill.
Pineapple is great when you grill it with other fruit, but you can serve it on its own as well. It has a natural acidity that sweetens when it is cooked over an open flame. Its sugars caramelize and it takes on a deeper, more complex flavor profile. It works well as a side for fatty meat dishes and in desserts. You can cut pineapple into chunks or rings to grill them. Toss them with sugar and cinnamon for a little extra flavor.
Nectarines are among the most popular grilled fruits for good reason: they pair nicely with meats. To grill nectarines, halve them and leave the skin on but remove the pit.
Grilled peaches are already a pretty good dessert with no other ingredients added, but you can make them even more dessert-like by adding sugar and cinnamon. Alternatively, you can contrast the sweetness with something tart or savory like balsamic vinegar or crumbled bacon.
Apples cooked on the grill are just as enjoyable as apples cooked for pie filling. The heat softens the crunchy fruit and intensifies its sweetness while also bringing a caramel note to it. Serve grilled apples with your main course or save it for dessert. They go well with fatty meats and with creamy or custard-based desserts.
Pears are similar to apples in that an open flame can improve both the flavor and the texture. Use it as a side for the main course or sprinkle on some cinnamon and serve it with ice cream. Cut pears in half and remove the seeds before grilling.
Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits but they are usually treated like vegetables. Because they are usually not as sweet as other vegetables, they are typically reserved for being served alongside meats rather than as a dessert. Simply cut them in half and place each half with the cut side down. Alternatively, you can coat them with a little olive oil to give them some extra flavor and to keep them from sticking.
Grilled cantaloupe is excellent for dessert, especially served alongside grilled bananas or pears. Not only does its flavor perfectly complement other fruits, it works with ice cream as well.
One of the most popular fruits, watermelons were once associated exclusively with the summer (peak grilling season) they are now available year-round. They are neutral, which means that you can pair grilled watermelon with sweeter fruits or syrup for a dessert. You can also add savory elements like balsamic vinegar for a main course side dish.
The next time your chicken or seafood dish requires lemon, why not make it grilled lemon instead? Grilling your lemons gives the juice a deeper caramelized flavor. Just place your lemons face down on the grill until they start to brown.
Cherries work just as well as larger fruit when it comes to being cooked on the grill. You will need to use pitted cherries and it is convenient to skewer them to keep them from falling through the grates. You can add your grilled cherries to other grilled fruits for a grilled fruit salad.