Best Unexpected Grilling Recipes for Summer

Summer is officially in full swing and we hope that means you’re getting the grill fired up too. Looking for unique grilling recipes? Think beyond your typical grilled proteins and veggies. Try these easy and unexpected grilling recipes to step up your summer grilling game.

And in honor of grilling season and Father’s Day, we’re doing a giveaway! Read through the story and scroll to the bottom for details on prizes and how to enter.

Pizza

Here’s how you can get a Neapolitan-style pie without the 900-degree oven. Put your pizza on a tray or baking stone and put it on the grill grates. Your pie will bake up bubbly and golden with a blistered and charred crust and a kiss of smoke.

For another grill-fired pizza that’s a weeknight winner, try taking store-bought naan bread to make flatbreads. Experiment with combining different sauces and toppings using whatever you have on hand. Think, pesto, jarred artichokes, and Parmesan; shredded mozzarella and mushrooms; or tomato sauce and roasted red peppers.

Salad

Sure, we love grilled eggplant and zucchini in the summer, but for a game-changing way to eat your veggies, try grilling your salad. Romaine works especially well here; halve romaine hearts lengthwise, brush with olive oil, and grill on the grates. Be sure to monitor this closely as it cooks quickly. You want it to just be wilted and a little charred, around three minutes tops.

Avocados are another unexpected, grill-ready vegetable. Slice avocados in half, remove the pit, and place cut side down on a medium-heat grill and grill until marks form, around five minutes. Slice and add to salads, chop and add to salsa, or smash it to make avocado toast.

Fruit

We love grilling watermelon wedges and serving them with a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a refreshing summer snack. You can also cut the fruit off the rinds into chunks and finish with crumbled feta and torn mint leaves for a summer-ready salad.

Make fruit kebabs by skewering chunks of fruit to roast—we like a mix of pineapple, mango, and banana chunks for a tropical take.

Once stone fruit season rolls around, cut fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines and grill cut side down. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or a scoop of ice cream, add to a pitcher of sangria, or chop it up for a grilled fruit salsa for tomorrow’s breakfast bowl.

Cheese

Try adding grilled pieces of cheese to your next cheese board or sandwiches, salads, and grain bowls to make a hearty grilled vegetarian option. Opt for sturdy cheeses that don’t melt and hold their structure, including fresh cheeses such as halloumi, a blend of sheep and goat’s milk cheese; paneer, an Indian cheese made from cow’s or buffalo’s milk; or queso panela, a Mexican cow’s milk cheese. Just brush the slabs with olive oil and grill until the cheese starts to char and take on grill marks before flipping to grill on the second side.

Cake

For the ultimate summer barbecue party trick, grill wedges of pound cake and serve with fresh berries and whipped cream or grilled stone fruit with a drizzle of balsamic syrup. Lightly oil your grill or lightly brush the slices of pound cake with melted butter, then grill over medium heat until toasty. If you’re worried about your cake slipping between the grates, put them on a piece of aluminum foil to keep them in place.

In honor of Father’s Day and grilling season, we’re doing a giveaway! [ENTER THE WOLF GOURMET STEAK KNIFE GIVEAWAY! FOLLOW BOTH @WOLFGOURMET AND @DARCCONSULTANTS, TAG TWO FRIENDS IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF THE POST ON @CHEFAARONDEAL AND YOU ARE ENTERED! DEADLINE IS MONDAY, JUNE 21 AND A WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED THROUGH INSTAGRAM!

Layla Khoury-Hanold is a freelance journalist covering food, travel, and lifestyle stories. Her work has appeared online with Food Network, Refinery29, the Chicago Tribune, and the James Beard Foundation, and in print with Drinks International, Our State, The Roanoker, and INDY Week. Follow her writing and food adventures on Instagram @words_with_layla.

A Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe for Mother’s Day

Biscuits are synonymous with Southern comfort and hospitality. There’s just something magical about the alchemy of flour, butter, and buttermilk, the smell of buttery dough rising in the oven, and the golden crackle of the tops giving way to fluffy, flaky layers within. With the right recipe, they’re also much easier to make than you think. In other words, you should make these buttermilk biscuits for Mother’s Day brunch.

Chef Aaron Deal originally hails from North Carolina, so biscuits have been part of his recipe cannon since he started cooking, and they made for a stellar addition to brunch at his restaurant, River & Rail. Even though he’s stepped away from the stove (you can follow his consulting adventures with Deal & Associates Restaurant Consulting on Instagram), biscuits are the first thing he thought of to make for his mom on Mother’s Day.

Over the years, chef Deal has finetuned his recipe to create an easy, versatile homestyle buttermilk biscuit for home cooks and pros alike. The dough can be cut into smaller, round biscuits to serve with butter and jam, or cut into larger rounds to build mom a breakfast sandwich (we like scrambled eggs, cheddar, and hot sauce). So, whip up a batch of these easy buttermilk biscuits and make this Mother’s Day brunch one to remember.

Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

By Chef Aaron Deal

Buttermilk biscuits are one of my favorite baked goods, whether it’s for a special occasion or a weekday treat. And you don’t need any special equipment either. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, you can use a ring mold or cookie cutter, basically anything with a relatively straight edge and an open top. The straight edges cut through the dough evenly and the open top allows the air to release as you press through the dough (this is why a glass won’t work).

You can customize the biscuits’ texture depending on how you arrange them on the baking tray. Crowding the biscuits on the pan can produce greater rise, as the biscuits climb on each other during the cooking process. It does make for softer un-browned sides, which I especially love for biscuits and gravy. Separating them by an inch or so allows browning all around, ideal for structure in a biscuit sandwich recipe.

I like to use a digital scale to measure my ingredients; if you don’t have one, this conversion table will help convert to cups and teaspoons.

Yield: approximately 1 dozen 3-inch round biscuits or 6 sandwich bun-size biscuits

Ingredients:

2 ½ pounds all-purpose flour

1 oz Kosher salt

3 oz granulated sugar

2 ½ oz baking powder

1 pound unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

1 quart buttermilk (whole fat)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium size bowl.
  3. Add chilled butter cubes to dry ingredients and incorporate using two forks, until it creates a flake-like consistency.
  4. Fold in buttermilk using a spatula and mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.
  5. Roll dough to desired thickness, depending if you prefer smaller, round biscuits or thicker, sandwich-bun size biscuits.
  6. Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, press evenly down on the dough to cut into rounds; avoid twisting or smashing the cutter into the dough.
  7. Arrange biscuits on baking tray, depending on preferred texture (see recipe hed note) and place tray in oven.
  8. After 5 minutes of baking time, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. (This provides a jumpstart for the rising process and cooks the biscuits without overbrowning them.)
  9. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately if desired. Otherwise allow biscuits to cool and store in airtight container for later use.

Pro tip: save scraps of leftover dough to make croutons or a pan of monkey bread coated in brown sugar and cinnamon.