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Posted by Leah Batkin | Apr 17, 2012

12 Foods that You Didn't Know You Could Grill

Here ye here ye! Grilling season has begun! Yes, its presence has graced us a bit prematurely this year, but who the hell is complaining?

Grilled eggplant slices. Is your mouth watering? Read these 12 new ideas for grilling. (Photo by Woodlywonderworks/Flickr)Here ye here ye! Grilling season has begun! Yes, its presence has graced us a bit prematurely this year, but who the hell is complaining? Everyone loves a good Texas-style BBQ out on the concrete driveway, and there is nothing easier than throwing a piece of meat on an open fire. In fact, I think our hairier ancestors mastered that art a long time ago. What people don’t know is how dynamic grilling can be. Below is a list of 12 foods you may not know are delicious when grilled.

1. Peaches

Peaches are delicious in their own right, but don’t be afraid to cut one in half and throw it face down on the grill. It takes just a few minutes to grill a peach and it puts a nice smoky spin on the sweet dessert. Who knew that you could make an exotic dessert on your own wooden deck?

2. Pineapple

Slice up a pineapple into rings and place them on the grill for a few minutes a side. Some people brush the pineapple with olive oil so it doesn’t stick to the grates, but I’m not convinced it’s necessary.

3. Eggplant

As one of my favorite foods to grill, eggplant lends itself perfectly to the smoky flavor of an outdoor grill. Hello babaganoush! Slice the eggplant into strips (no need to peel it), brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let them roast away. After no more than 10 minutes, the eggplant should be soft enough to scoop out the center and make into a nice Mediterranean dip.

4. Eggs

I’ve grilled eggs before and it miserably failed, and then I’ve grilled eggs before and they have turned out awesome. The difference is a fine line. If you aren’t too concerned with the way your food looks, you can grill eggs to “hard-boil” by simply placing them on the grill for 15 minutes. They turn out brown but still taste hardboiled. You can also fry eggs on a grill by placing them in a greased metal pan (I like to use muffin tins to make small English muffin-sized eggs) and letting them cook for a few minutes.

5. Zucchini

Zucchini, along with other summer vegetables like squash and red peppers, are delicious when grilled- just cut them in thick circles and spray on some olive oil. They take 5-10 minutes depending on their size and make a nice summer side dish.

6. Tomatoes

Slice a tomato in half and place on the grill for a minute. Be careful of over-grilling because you don’t want it to lose all its juice. Grilled tomatoes are great in sandwiches, which leads me to a point…

7. Sandwiches

Take your boring old turkey sandwich and place it on the grill just until the bread gets toasted. You can grill any sandwich and it will spruce up each bite.

8. Garlic

If you looooooove garlic, which I do, then you understand why I am willing to experiment with cooking it every different way possible. I cut the end off of a head of garlic and peel back a few layers, drizzle olive oil and place on tinfoil on the grill for 30-45 minutes (hint: keep the lid of the grill down to make it more like an oven). Eat it straight from the grill.

9. Mushrooms

Portabello mushrooms, and other large mushroom varieties, are awesome when grilled. Smaller mushrooms will fall through the cracks or just stick to the grates. Lightly spray with olive oil and place right on the grill for just a minute or two.

10. Pizza

I’ve seen it done before but must admit I have never tried it myself- grilled pizza. The easiest way is to use premade dough that will cook quickly, and add cheese, sauce and toppings. Put the pizza onto a baking sheet or tinfoil and keep it on the grill until the dough becomes brown and cheese melts. I can’t vouch for it, but the combination of dough, cheese and sauce seems incapable of failure.

11. Grilled Cheese

Hello, it’s in the name, isn’t it? Come to think of it, this is probably how the original grilled cheese was made! Why are we wasting our time in the kitchen awkwardly heating up a pan when we could be tanning on the patio flipping the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? Ingredients: bread, cheese, and either oil or butter for the outside pieces of bread. It really couldn’t be easier.

12. Frozen Foods

When dinnertime approaches all-too quickly and you find yourself scrambling for something quick to make the impatient brood, grab some of those frozen treats you have on hand and throw them on the grill. Fishsticks, potstickers, French fries, and dumplings- really anything frozen can be heated up on the grill. They are still loaded with sodium and preservatives and will probably prematurely end your life by a handful of years, but hey, they taste so much better than they do when microwaved!

Tell us...what's your grilling secret? We love comments and we love to hear from YOU!

Leah Batkin writes for Networx. Get home & garden ideas like this on Networx.com.

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