Debby Maugans, food writer based in Asheville, North Carolina, and author of Small Batch Baking, Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers and Farmer and Chef Asheville.
Bottom Line: When the burgers are done, it's time to grill dessert
A simple grilled-fruit salad can be a revelation. As summer-ripe fruits sear on the grill, natural sugars caramelize a little (on the grill marks) and the fruits grow warm and tender with a sweet, slightly smoky flavor. There’s no need for a sauce or dressing. Tossing with a squeeze of lime adds contrast to the sweet flavors of the fruits, while a drizzle of honey deepens the caramelized flavors. And you don’t have to be an artist—or even a food stylist—to arrange the fruits memorably on individual plates or a platter because the shapes and colors of the fruits do it themselves beautifully.
If you are grilling for company, this fruit medley makes a delicious surprise—either as a salad or a light dessert. The only “special” equipment you’ll need is some inexpensive, disposable wooden skewers.
Makes six servings
3 ripe purple plums
2 ripe peaches
½ small cantaloupe, seeds removed
1 lime, halved
1 cup pitted ripe cherries
2 Tablespoons honey
Water-soaked wooden skewers
Mint leaves, optional
Preheat the grill for direct medium-high heat. Make sure the grill rack is oiled.
Cut the plums and peaches in half, remove the pits and put the fruit in a large bowl.
Cut the cantaloupe in half horizontally, remove the seeds and refrigerate one half for another use. Cut the remaining half into 3/4-inch-wide slices, and cut away the peel from each slice. Add to the bowl.
Squeeze the lime over the cut sides of the fruit, and toss to coat evenly. Add the cherries to the bowl, drizzle the honey over all the fruit and toss to coat evenly.
For easier handling on the grill, thread the cherries onto parallel wooden skewers with skewers about a half-inch apart. Place the plums and peaches (cut sides down) and cantaloupe slices on the grill. (If you’re concerned that the plums or peaches might fall through the grate, you can thread these through wooden skewers as well.) Reserve and refrigerate the syrupy juices left in the bowl. Grill the fruit until well-marked, about two or three minutes, then turn each and grill another minute or until softened.
Remove the cherries from the skewers and transfer, along with all the other fruit, to a serving platter or individual plates. Drizzle with reserved juices from the bowl. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.