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15 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Grill

Grilled watermelon, who knew? These easy grilling ideas will be unexpected hits at your summer barbecues.

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Ripe Healthy Organic Grilled Watermelon with Honey
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Heat, smoke, and a hint of salt make this sweet fruit unexpectedly savory, even meaty. Grilling “sobers it up and makes it lose its sloppy sweetness,” writes Mark Bittman in the New York Times; he brushes 1-inch-thick slices with olive oil, minced onion, salt, and pepper, then grills them for about 5 minutes per side until caramelized and beginning to dry out. Serve as a side or top Bittman-style: with melted cheese and a bun for a “watermelon burger.” Make sure you follow these golden rules to have a healthy grilling season. Oh and, take a look at these spectacular watermelon carving ideas, too.

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Throw some oysters on the grill at your next barbeque for a quick way to impress your guests. Cook them until their shells start to pop open.

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Grilled Romaine Lettuce Halves on the Barbecue.
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Romaine lettuce

The greens take the heat surprisingly well—and grilling them creates a smoky flavor that’s perfect for a substantial salad, like this one from Food Network’s Alton Brown: Slice two heads of romaine lengthwise, then brush cut sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the lettuce halves cut-side down on a grill;
cook over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and red wine vinegar. Place each half on a plate.

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Ana Photo/Shutterstock


This one probably comes as a surprise since polenta is typically served as a creamy dish. Allow it time to set and then you’ll be able to slice it up and throw it on the grill. This will give it a crispy, golden exterior and smoky flavor. Check out this foolproof guide to grilling burgers, chicken, and everything else.

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Three grilled slices of halloumi cheese on grill in perspective. With grill marks.
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No bread required! Placing cheese directly on the grill boosts richness and creates chewy texture. For perfect char marks, without melting and creating a mess, use thick slices like halloumi or aged provolone, says finecooking.com. Drizzle the cheese with olive oil, then grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until grill marks form (4 minutes per
side for halloumi, 1 minute per side for provolone). Serve with bread, grapes, and preserves.

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Grilled pound cake with fresh berries for an oudoor summer party
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock


Grilling gives cake a warm interior and caramelized crust—and the inherent sweetness balances out the smoky flavors. Cut an angel food or a pound cake into 1-inch-thick slices. Butter both sides, then grill over moderate heat until golden, turning once, about 2 minutes per side, says Food and Wine. Top with fruit, ice cream, or chocolate sauce.

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Mexican quesadilla with spinach, beans and cheddar cheese close-up on the table. horizontal
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Instead of heating up your quesadilla in the microwave or on the stove top, throw it on the grill. This will give the outside of your tortilla a crispy evenly toasted look and the cheese on the inside will be warm and gooey.

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11-sweet potatoes-Fruits and Vegetables that Taste Best in the Fall_531665464-AS Food studio
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Sweet Potatoes

Barbecue evangelist Steven Raichlen, author of Best Ribs Ever, gives the orange tubers a treatment he calls smoke-roast—combining the two cooking techniques for a creamy, honeyed potato that’s not overly sugary. He recommends coating whole sweet potatoes with butter and placing them over medium-high heat until the skins are browned and the flesh tender, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove, slice lengthwise, and top with butter and brown sugar.

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Skewer chunks of thick-cut bacon on wooden or metal sticks and grill over indirect heat says Fine Cooking. Toss into salads, serve atop burgers, or add grilled pineapple and eat straight-up as an appetizer.

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Cauliflower can be cooked in so many different ways and on the grill is one of them. Simply cut up the cauliflower into the size you want, sprinkle with some oil, and put on the grill to cook.

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Grilled avocado slices with sea salt on a plate, view from above


Iron Chef Cat Cora gently grills avocado halves, then scoops the flesh into guacamole that’s extra smoky and savory.

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Pizza on the grill
Julie Vader/Shutterstock


Get an extra crispy pizza crust by cooking it on the grill. Add some oil and garlic to the dough and throw it on the grill. Once it’s cooked to your desired level, throw the toppings on it while it’s still warm or add the topping before you start cooking.

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baked carrots on a baking sheet, food close up
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Cooking carrots on the grill brings out their sweetness. Mix that with the char and smoke of the grill and you’ll never cook your carrots any other way. These are the foods that even professional chefs cook in the microwave.

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Slice up a pineapple and throw it right on the grill. When you cook pineapple on the grill it takes away some of the acidity so it will taste sweeter.

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Vincenzo Di Dio/Shutterstock


Adding a charred edge to artichokes gives them a whole new flavor. Cut the artichoke in half and remove the choke. Then, brush some oil on it and place it on the grill. Next, read about these kitchen mistakes that you’re most likely making.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest