Dishes and drinks with bright and colorful fruits make me feel like I’m on vacation somewhere, soaking up the sun on a warm beach, even if I’m just sitting in my house in Ohio. Fruits can be used to balance out fiery recipes or add beautiful color and tangy flavor to desserts. Preparation techniques are limitless, but my favorite way to prepare fruit is on the grill!
Tropical fruits make a great pair with your savory taste buds and are a wonderful side to a main meal. It’s as simple as tossing pineapple on the grill and finishing with Bellisari's sofi™ gold award winning Balsamic, Shallot, and Black Garlic spread.
Grilling is a delicious, healthy way to bring out the flavor of fruit. It's easy to do outdoors or indoors and works for produce from any season.
Flavors intensify as the natural sugars caramelize, juicy fruits can get even juicier, and the grill marks — gorgeous, right? But before you go flinging fruit on the fire, here are a few tips to help you get the best results when you grill fruit:
Choose your fruit -- Just about any fruits can go on the grill as long as they are fairly firm and not overripe. Peaches, melons, pineapple, pears, avocado, tomatoes, bananas, and figs are just some of the fresh fruits that will hold their shape well over the fire. Choose fruit that's ripe but not too ripe. You want to grill fruit right before you'd normally eat it as is. The raw fruit should be slightly firm so that it holds up on the grill. The heat caramelizes the sugars in fruit and weakens the structure, so something overripe or mushy will be more likely to fall apart.
Size matters -- Most fruit is fairly fragile, so cut fruit into large chunks, slices, and wheels to help it maintain its structure as it heats up and breaks down. Larger pieces are less likely to fall between the grates, too, depending on how far apart your grill grates are. Small fruits such as strawberries can go on skewers so you don't lose them to the flames.
Hotter is better -- High heat helps to prevent the flesh of the fruit from sticking to the grate. It also ensures you get beautiful grill marks—and the flavor they impart—without overcooking the inside of the fruit. It helps to oil the grill grates lightly before adding your fruit. Grill fruit over high heat for three minutes without moving or turning it to get the perfect sear. Flip and cook for one to three minutes more.
One reason that I love cooking with fruit is that it is extremely versatile and is equally delectable both in sweet and savory applications. Try peaches alongside pork chops or chicken. Grilled watermelon makes a refreshing summer salad when combined with feta cheese, mint or basil, olive oil, and flaky sea salt. Pop grilled bananas out of their skin and top with ice cream and chocolate sauce for a new take on banana splits, add sliced, grilled pineapple to a burger, or make grilled peaches a la mode for dessert. Fruit can be fresh or juiced, in baked goods or treats, and you're not going to find many people that would turn down a warm slice of apple pie or peach cobbler.
Try these Bellisari’s recipes to get your creativity flowing, and I’m sure you will discover your favorite fruits to grill and which foods pair well with the delicious textures and flavors of fresh summer fruits!
Spicy Mango Balsamic Ginger Soup (https://bit.ly/3wLxHsH) and Barista Grilled Chicken Skewers (https://bit.ly/2VRCa07) are just a few recipes on our website that include fruit. Explore https://bellisaris.com/pages/recipes to discover other great fruity Bellisari’s recipes. Happy grilling from all of us at Bellisari’s!