Grills Just Want to Have Fun

There’s not much  we don’t like to grill come July. Flamed fish and fowl, seared steaks and scallops, roasted romaine and radishes – the sky is the limit so get ready for a summer filled with flame-cooked foods. 

BBQ 101:

Gas or Charcoal: Ahhh…the age-old grate debate! Gas grills are so convenient and perfect for quick dinners with minimal know-how and clean up but if you want that smoky flavor and gorgeous char marks, charcoal is tops.  Because they can reach very hot temperatures, charcoal grills are the best for smoking, searing and charring. However, they take more set up and clean up. Bottom line, it’s a personal preference, but regardless of your type of grill, you’re still winning because you’re grilling!

Clean and Season: The first step to any great grilling experience is to ensure your grill is clean. For steel or cast iron (non-coated) grates, use a stiff bristled steel brush to get any gunk, grime, or rust off. For porcelain-coated (or other non-stick coated) cast iron, use a nylon bristled brush to avoid scratching. Next, make sure the bottom of the grill is clear of any debris. Sometimes, things can get stuck and block the heat source, especially with charcoal grills.

Low and Slow: Grilling with indirect heat will take a little longer just the smoky flavor you’ll obtain will be worth the wait. Assemble a small pile of coals on one half of the grill bed or pit (or ignite but one set of burners on a gas grill). Place food to the side of the source of heat rather than directly over it.

Don’t be Pushy: Pushing your meat down against the grates promotes flare-ups and can lead to burnt food. Trust the low and slow method and use a meat thermometer for food safety guidelines.

Charred Corn, Zucchini and Rosemary Grilled Pizza


For the crust

½ cup warm water

2 Tablespoons honey

2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

2 Tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons white whole wheat flour, divided

Find-ground cornmeal for rolling

For the pizza

2 ears sweet corn

1 zucchini cut into ribbons or thin rounds

2 Tablespoons olive oil divided

2 Tablespoons rosemary

2 clove garlic minced

4 ounces fresh mozzarella torn or shredded

2 ounces Gorgonzola crumbled


To make the crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a bowl and using a wooden spoon), combine the water, honey and yeast. Let sit until the yeast activates, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, sea salt, unbleached all-purpose flour, and ½ cup of the white whole wheat flour. Turn on the mixer and mix until the dough comes together, adding 1 tablespoon of the white whole wheat flour at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky. Remove from the mixer, cover with a warm damp towel, and place the bowl in a draft-free spot to rise for 1 hour.

After the initial rise, punch down the dough and preheat the grill to medium-low heat.

Shuck the corn and remove remaining silks. Cut zucchini into ribbons or rounds. Rub both with 1/2 Tablespoon of the olive oil and place on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally until charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then remove the kernels from the cob.

Sprinkle the cornmeal on a cutting board or pizza peel and turn the dough out onto the cornmeal and roll into a 14-inch circle. Brush the top with ½ of the olive oil. Place the crust olive-oil-side-down on the grill and cook until puffed and browned. Flip and brush the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil onto the dough, then sprinkle on the garlic, rosemary, cheeses and charred corn kernels and zucchini.

Grill the pizza until the cheese has melted and the crust has a nice char. If the crust is cooking too fast, move the pizza to a cooler part of the grill.

Recipe adapted from Foodie Crush

Grilled Pineapple with Nutella and Macadamia Nuts


1 pineapple, cored and sliced ½ inch thick


½ cup of macadamia nuts, toasted

2 Tablesoons chopped mint


Cut off the skin of the pineapple trying to save as much pineapple as possible.

Keeping the pineapple whole, remove the core from the center of the pineapple. Next slice pineapple into 1″ thick slices.

Heat grill to medium high heat and grill each slice for 2-3 minutes per side.

Remove from grill and set aside.

Toast macadamia nuts in a sauté pan over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes.

In the meantime, put 1 tablespoon of Nutella on each pineapple slice.

Serve pineapple slices individually or stacked on top of each other {like a cake}. Top the pineapple with 1 Tablespoon of toasted macadamia nuts and chopped mint.

Recipe adapted from Joyful Healthy Eats

Thai Turkey Burger with Asian Slaw


For the Turkey Burger:

1 lb ground turkey

3 tablespoons shallot, very finely diced

3 tablespoons fresh mint, cilantro, and basil, finely diced

1 ½ teaspoon fresh grated, or chopped ginger

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass

2 tablespoons chopped Thai basil (or reg basil, cilantro, or mint)

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 scallion, chopped

½ – 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped (or substitute 1Tablespoon sriracha sauce, or red chili sauce)

1 tablespoon fish sauce (or sub soy sauce)

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon white pepper

For the Crunchy Asian Slaw:

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup shredded purple cabbage

1 scallion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons lime juice (or rice wine vinegar)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt and pepper

For the Spicy Aioli:

1/4 cup mayo

1–2 tablespoons sriracha or chili garlic sauce


For the burgers: Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine all the burger ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well using hands. With wet hands, shape into 3 burgers, 1-inch thick. Place on a plate in the fridge.

For the Slaw: Toss the slaw ingredients together in a medium bowl.

For the aioli: Mix the spicy aioli ingredients together in a small bowl.

Grill patties on a well-greased, pre-heated grill 4-5 minutes each side until golden and cooked through.

To serve: Toast or grill the buns. Spread aioli on the bottom bun, top with the patty, then the slaw, cucumber ribbons, more aioli, then the top bun. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Feasting at Home

Charred Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing


1 head cauliflower

1/2 red onion

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 bunch parsley

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp salt

15 oz can chickpeas

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp cayenne

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat the grill to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place them on a large baking sheet. Slice the red onion into 1/4-inch strips and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle the cauliflower and onions with olive oil and season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower and onions until coated in oil, salt, and pepper.

Roast the cauliflower and onions on the preheated grill for 20 minutes, then stir, and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and charred on the edges. Let the cauliflower cool slightly.

While the cauliflower and onions are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Add them to a skillet along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook the chickpeas over medium heat for about five minutes, or until they sizzle and become slightly crispy. Remove the chickpeas from the heat.

Pull the parsley leaves from their stems and roughly chop the leaves into small pieces (about 1.5 cups loosely packed, once chopped).

To build the salad, combine the charred cauliflower and onions in a bowl with the spiced chickpeas and chopped parsley. Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over top and toss to combine. Serve warm or cold.

Recipe adapted from The Happy Foodie