Fire up the Grill for Fruits and Vegetables
Best hint for grilling all types of fruit is to use indirect heat (heat produced around the edge of the grill or when the coals have begun to die out) so the natural sugars in the fruit do not burn. You want the fruits caramelized for flavor. A little sprinkle of cinnamon, lemon juice or brown sugar near the end of the cooking time is a plus. Let cool for a few minutes before eating or use in crumbles, salads, salsas or filled with a dollop of ice cream or goat cheese.
Five Favorite Fruits For Grilling
Peaches: Cut in half lengthwise, remove the pit and brush lightly with melted butter or oil. Place cut side down on grill, cook for about 6 minutes. Turn and cook about 2 more minutes.
Apricots: Cut in half and remove pit. Small fruits (like apricots, grapes) are easier to grill if placed on a skewer so that they lay flat. Baste with butter, place on grill cut side down and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook 1 minute more.
Pears: Cut in half lengthwise, remove stem and seeds. Lightly coat with butter and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once.
Figs: Cut in half lengthwise and coat the cut side with a little olive oil. Place cut side down on grill and cook 5 to 6 minutes.
Melons: Two methods work well here. Slice the melon (firm fleshed work best) into thick 1-inch slices and remove the inner ring of seeds. Brush with butter or oil and place on grill. Cook 5 to 6 minutes turning frequently. Or cut melon into 1-inch cube pieces, brush with oil or butter and place on skewers to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Vegetable are grilled over direct medium heat (they’re sturdier than fruits). Some of the moisture in the vegetables evaporates as they’re grilled and produces a vegetable with more intense flavor.
Five Favorite Vegetables For Grilling
Corn: Pull back husks (do not remove) and remove silk. Fold husks back up on corn and tie with kitchen string. Place in a sink of water and soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Shake off water and place on grill for about 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so.
Eggplant: Trim ends off eggplant and slice (crosswise or lengthwise) into ½ inch thick pieces. Sprinkle with salt, place in colander and let drain for about an hour. Blot on paper towels. Brush with oil and grill 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Bell Peppers: Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove stem, seeds and white rib areas. Brush with olive oil and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning once. Grill until peppers just start to shrivel and have a little char on them.
Onion: Remove papery outer layer and cut onion into one half inch thick slices. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, turning once using tongs.
Tomatoes: Cut tomatoes in half crosswise. Hold over a bowl and remove some of the pulp and seeds. Brush tomato with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place cut side down on grill. Cook about 4 minutes. Remove to serving plate using a spatula to turn them cut side up and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
The Orinda market is open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in front of Rite Aid and the Community Park. For more information, go to www.cccfm.org or call the market hotline at 925-431-8361.