You've got your burgers and hot dogs covered. Barbecue chicken and shrimp kebabs? Check. Maybe you've even tossed some salmon or swordfish on the grill. But it's time to up your grill game. Here are five easy things you might never have considered grilling before.
1. Lettuce or Endive
It's an easy way to turn a plain salad into something more exciting. Take a head of sturdy greens, like romaine or escarole, and cut into quarters. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place on a grill over medium heat. Once the greens are wilted and slightly charred, they're ready to add to your salad or to serve with other grilled veggies like zucchini and peppers.
2. Oysters and Clams
Don't know how to shuck an oyster? Who cares? Just toss your oysters or clams on a hot grill and let cook until the shells open (this should take just a minute or two for oysters; clams will take a little longer.) Pry off the top shell, making sure not to spill any juice, then top with a little butter and serve.
Warm, toasty baguette slices are just what you want for bruschetta, crostini, or to sub in for crackers with your favorite dip. Just slice the bread on a diagonal (this is a great way to use up a leftover baguette, too), brush with olive oil, and place on a moderately hot grill. After a minute, flip and toast the other side. You'll end up with lightly golden, crisp bread that you can top with pesto, chopped tomatoes, cheese, or whatever you're craving.
You've probably seen all kinds of grilled fruit, like peaches, watermelon, and pineapple. But bananas? Most people don't think to toss them on the grill, but they're actually ideal for it. For an ultra easy and delicious dessert, cut the bananas in half lengthwise, leaving the peels on. Brush melted butter on the cut side of the bananas and place them on a hot grill. Once they caramelize, flip them and cook on the peel side for about 30 seconds. Peel the bananas and serve them sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon or drizzled with chocolate or caramel sauce. (A scoop of vanilla ice cream never hurts, either.)
Amazingly, you can actually bake a cake on a grill (in a skillet or pan, of course). But grilling slices of cake is a simple way to liven up dessert, especially if you're using store-bought. Sturdy cakes, like pound cake or angel food, work well on the grill. Just butter both sides of each slice, place on a grill over medium or low heat, and let cook until toasted, a couple minutes per side. Top with fresh berries and whipped cream for a fresh, simple dessert.
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