The words summer grilling evoke the wonderful flavor of bringing the outdoors onto your plate—whether you’re enjoying shrimp with a splash of fresh lime or haloumi cheese topped with honey and mint. Not all of us have access to a BBQ, however, in which case the simple grill pan is a handy companion for the summer cook. (Have stovetop, will grill.)
We asked Ben Mims, food editor at Saveur magazine, for a fresh take on summer grilling. Here are two of his favorites:
The caramelized sugars of the grilled fruit creates a richness and smoky-sweet depth.
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 mango, peeled, cut away from pit, and sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 star fruit, sliced
1⁄2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 stick cinnamon
1⁄2 vanilla bean, split
1⁄2 cup soda water
2 tbsp honey
1 cup Italian lemon soda, such as San Pellegrino Limonata
1⁄2 cup apricot brandy
1 bottle (750 ml) white wine
Mint sprigs, for garnish
1. Heat your cast-iron grill pan over medium-high. (Alternatively, build a medium-heat fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium.) Working in batches, grill the kiwi, mango, orange, star fruit and pineapple, turning once, until charred on both sides, 4 minutes for kiwi, 6–8 minutes for mango and orange, and 8–10 minutes for star fruit and pineapple. Transfer to a pitcher with cinnamon and vanilla bean.
2. Bring soda water and honey to a simmer in a two-quart saucepan over medium-high. Cook until honey has dissolved, 2–3 minutes; transfer to pitcher with fruit. Add lemon soda, brandy and wine. Refrigerate two hours; serve with mint sprigs.
CHARRED CABBAGE SLAW
In this offbeat slaw, raw red cabbage adds a textural contrast to the grilled green cabbage, and a zippy, spicy-sweet-salty dressing goes well with the charred bits.
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp sambal oelek
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp canola oil
1 head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 red Thai chiles, stemmed and minced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1⁄4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1. Heat sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, sambal oelek, garlic and 2 tbsp water in a two-quart saucepan over high; simmer until sugar has dissolved, 2–3 minutes. Remove dressing from heat and cool.
2. Heat your cast-iron grill pan over medium. (Alternatively, build a medium-heat fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium.) Brush oil on green cabbage wedges and season with salt and pepper; grill, turning as needed, until charred all over, 18–20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then core and thinly slice. Toss with reserved dressing, the chiles, onion and red cabbage.
For more summer grilling ideas and recipes, head over to Saveur. And to learn how to create the ultimate picnic with little fuss, stay tuned for our upcoming post.