I know I’m late to the grilled fruit game. I never understood the fascination with throwing everything on the grill, but I am now a believer. Grilling transforms something simple and delicious into a spectacular crowdpleaser. Grilling enhances the natural flavors of fruits and vegetables and caramelizes the sugars in them, which is why grilled fruits are particularly delicious. I came home to find a beautiful display of summer squash, nectarines and spring onions sitting on my counter, compliments of our local farmers market. The squash had such interesting shapes that I immediately wanted to showcase. I especially love the star shaped yellow squash! I thought slicing them into rounds and grilling them would make a visually interesting dish.
Then, once I added the nectarines and purple onion to the mix, I thought, “They look so beautiful all together, why not grill them all? Sometimes dinner just has to be dictated by what you have on hand.
Vegetables can be grilled dry, but many of them taste better and are less prone to sticking if they are marinated first, or at least drizzled with oil. Fruit, on the other hand, with its natural sugar content, is great when placed directly on the hot grill. I marinated the squash in olive oil, garlic and herbs before grilling, then carmelized the onions on high heat in a cast iron pan and made the balsamic glaze (or rather, my sous chef, Veronica, made the glaze while I grilled the zucchini). Lastly, I grilled the nectarines and piled everything together in a large tray and drizzled with the balsamic glaze. I sprinkled with a bit of feta and a handful of blueberries, the first from my garden this year. My final result was a pretty spectacular vegetable/fruit platter with gorgeous colors. The balsamic glaze complimented the grilled fruit and combined nicely with the savory squash. I will definitely be mixing more veggies and fruits this summer!
If you’re interested in more grilled fruit recipes, check out my recipe for Tortillas with Grilled Pineapple Salsa (with Mango Margaritas, of course)
Grilled Nectarines and Summer Squash with Balsamic Glaze
Marinade: 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 Tbsn lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp fresh herbs(oregano, thyme, parsley or marjoram)
1 large spring onion (or Walla Walla or Maui sweet)2 Tbsn avocado oil, or other high heat oil 6 nectarines 1/4 cup olive oil 2 oz feta (optional) 1/2 cup blueberries (optional) Balsamic glaze: 1/4 cup basamic vinegar, 1 Tbsn honey, pinch of salt salt and pepper to taste
- Place all marinade ingredients into a large ziploc baggie or container. Slice squash into rounds and put into marinade until ready to grill.
- Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced by about half. Stir in honey and add a pinch of salt. Remove from heat.
- Slice onion into thick rounds. If you don’t completely remove the stem, the top slice becomes a ‘rose’ which is a nice centerpiece.
- Saute the onion slices on high heat, keeping the sections together, turning with a spatula to brown both sides. Then break apart and saute a few more minutes. Or you can marinate and grill the onions until they are softened and browned. Remove to a platter.
- Grill the zucchini rounds until brown on both sides. Remove to platter with onions.
- Half and pit the nectarines and place on a hot oiled grill, a few minutes per side until grill marks appear. Remove to platter with veggies.
- Sprinkle with feta and blueberries, if using. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Coarse salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm or room temperature with reserved balsamic glaze on the side.