* written by Samantha Weiss Hills at Food52
This summer, we’re partnering with Jet.com to share recipes that will help you hone nearly every skill in the book. (Jet will have you covered with all the fresh and pantry goods you’ll need. Seriously, they have everything. Use the code Food52 at checkout for 20% off your first 2 orders of $35 or more. Maximum discount $30*.) In the coming months, expect tips for serving crowd, block party staples, and more. Today: Great grilling recipes, all in one place.
Grab a chimney, some charcoal, and skewers. Marinate whatever suits your fancy, chop up salads, mix up some drinks. Revel in the fact that you won’t be smoking up your house with screamin’ hot pans—because you’re readying to cook outside after all, and grill grates and cast irons are happy to be super toasty over an blazing flame.
Grilling is, to me, aseasonal (as I’d don winter boots and a coat to do it in the snow) but it’s extra exciting when wherever you live is exploding in color and the sun never seems to set. Since it’s past time to pull out the grill and have nothing to do with the cooking apparatus inside your kitchen: Here are 25 recipes and ideas for the next outdoor party you’re hosting or heading to.
Why yes, you can use the grill to make bread—and even if you hadn’t thought to do that, you can grill already-made bread, too! Think flatbreads that pouf when they hit the heat, cast iron-clad challah, grill-marked rustic loaves that you can eat with a slick of garlic and oil or tear into breadcrumbs.
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Flaky salt, for finishing
Leaves of 1 to 2 sprigs rosemary, for finishing
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt to combine. Add the yeast and mix to combine.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add the water and olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the mixture forms a shaggy mass.
- On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball, 6 to 9 minutes (or 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).
- Transfer the dough to a medium, lightly oiled bowl. Loosely cover, and let rise until the dough is double in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the grill or grill pan until smoking hot. Clean and oil the grates of the grill.
- While the grill is heating up, divide the dough into four (roughly even) pieces; it will be on the sticky side, so oil your hands a little to make the dough easier to handle. Holding the dough on its outside edges, stretch it gently, letting gravity do most of the work to form it into an oblong shape. Lightly oil both sides of the dough. (I do this on a baking sheet that is greased in oil — I stretch the dough and place it onto the baking sheet, which is covered in oil. When I get out to the grill, I flip it over quickly to oil the other side, and, while it’s still in my hand, I throw it onto the grill grates).
- Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. When the breads are still hot from the grill, brush with more olive oil, and top with flaky salt and rosemary leaves. They are best warm, but will keep for a couple days too – they make for a good picnic lunch with chicken salad, a vessel for hummus or other dips, or — my favorite — slathered with pesto and ricotta cheese.
Bright, bursting-with-flavor summer vegetables take to grill smoke like they take to vinaigrette or salt: happy and relaxed, with a little sigh of contentment. Whether you’ve got an abundance of fleshy friends like zucchini or eggplant, or spicy alliums, or greenies like romaine or snap peas, grilling gives ’em a toasty touch.
Vegetable Salad, Capri Style
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 small Asian or Italian eggplants
12 baby zucchini with flowers or 4 small zucchini
2 medium red onions
12 spears asparagus
12 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
- Heat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, mustard, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and orange juice (reserve the zest for garnish). Set aside.
- Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut the peppers into quarters and remove the cores and seeds. If using baby zucchini, cut them lengthwise in half. If using small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4- inch-thick slices (discard the first and last slice from each). Cut the onions into 6 or 8 wedges each. Trim the scallions. Snap off the tough bottom parts of the asparagus stalks.
- Place the vegetables on two large baking sheets. Brush lightly with some of the red wine vinegar marinade and season lightly with salt. Place on the grill over medium-high to high heat (you will probably have to cook the vegetables in batches) and cook, turning once or twice, until tender and slightly charred on both sides: The eggplant will take about 8 to 10 minutes, the peppers 10 to 12 minutes, the zucchini 6 to 8 minutes, the onions and scallions 4 to 6 minutes, and the asparagus 5 to 7 minutes. Remove each vegetable from the grill as it is done and return to the baking sheets.
- Cut the pepper pieces crosswise in half. Arrange the vegetables decoratively on a large serving platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Sprinkle with the orange zest and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Meats, Meats, Meats
There are always ways to up your meat-grilling game, however familiar this staple cooking method might be to you: Get outside your comfort zone! Marinate your meats! Make sauces and salsas! Serve over greens! So what are you waiting for?
Alabama Style Chicken Kebabs
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup granular sugar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or more if you can handle it)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, mashed or put through a press
- Whisk all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate. (Sauce can be made well ahead of time.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
Four 12-inch skewers (if using wood, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning)
Salt, pepper, and olive oil
- Cut the breast halves into 1 1/2 inch cubes and thread them on the skewers. Season the kebabs with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Light your grill to medium heat and oil the grates well.
- Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the sauce for dipping.
- Place your kebabs on the grill and start lightly basting and turning until the chicken is done. (Be careful not to burn!) Serve them up with a little of the reserved sauce on the side.
Sweets with grill marks
The sizzle and pop of the grill when something sweet, like peaches or watermelon, hits it is music to my ears. There’s just something about the smell of caramelizing sugar that makes my not-so-sweet tooth get a little more excited than usual.
Grilled Stone Fruit with Coconut Snow
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup coconut milk (I used full-fat)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons mint
4 nectarines (or peaches, apricots, or bananas!)
Neutral flavored oil
- Heat sugar and water until sugar has dissolved into a simple syrup. Cool. Mix 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup with coconut milk, lime, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon each of the basil and mint. (And if you want a nice cocktail while you grill the fruit, muddle a couple lime halves with basil and mix with remaining simple syrup and tequila!)
- Pour the mixture into a 9-x-9-inch baking dish, cover and freeze. You can either stir with a fork every 15 minutes or so to get a finer crumble, or let the whole thing freeze and crack it into chunks. (It took a little over an hour for mine to set.) This can be made ahead.
- Heat a grill and be sure the grate is clean. Cut fruit in half, lightly brush with oil, and grill cut side down just until grill marks appear. Put on a plate (or bowl) and top with coconut snow. Garnish with basil and lime zest if desired.
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