Glorious summer weather means BBQ days are coming. Hot weather seems to go hand in hand with grilling days. And who doesn’t love the smokey flavor of the grill, the relaxed nature of outdoor entertaining?! I’m certainly do…as I do my happy, little, lazy cook dance.
Hail to outdoor cooking – the means toward a cooler indoor kitchen.
Hail to modern outdoor grill….cuz’ I have less dishes to wash.
Hail to the freshness of summer produce, whose seasonal goodness requires only the minimal effort to bring forth.
Giving a grilled flavor to your summer sides is not only delicious, but also an efficient way of getting “double duty” out of your time at the grill. While cooking your kosher meats, get your vegetables and desserts cooking too. And when grilling vegetables, throw on some extras to add into your salads or pasta dishes like this Herbed Orzo Salad. Or how about this:
(Photo by Baila Gluck)
Grilled pineapple is a simple, yummy dessert by itself – it’s natural sugars caramelized by the direct heat of the grill – but combined with other savory vegetables, it makes an intensely flavored, sweet salsa perfect for accompanying grilled meats or chicken. Make a large batch of pineapple – use some for salsa and save some for dessert with ice cream or sorbet. Looks real fancy, right? Shhh, it’ll be our little lazy cooks’ secret!
Grilled Pineapple Relish
Grilling the pineapple caramelizes the fruit’s natural sugars and intensifies its flavors. The relish can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.
½ ripe pineapple, peeled and sliced crosswise into ¼” slices
½ small red onion, minced (about ¼ cup)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Zest and juice and of ½ large lime (about 1 Tbsp), or more to taste
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat grill for direct grilling on medium-high heat. Carefully oil the grill grates (tongs and oil-soaked paper towels do a good job of this). Place pineapple slices on the grill. Grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, turning once during grilling. Transfer slices to a cutting board and dice into ¼” cubes. Place diced pineapple in a large mixing bowl, and add all remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice, as needed.
Yield: Approximately 1 quart