11 Grilling Recipes That Showcase Summer Produce

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closeup of a tasty vegetarian shashlik
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MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER'S HARVEST

With inexpensive fresh vegetables plentiful throughout the summer, grilling season is by no means limited to meat. Markets offer a bounty of tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, summer squash, and so much more that's good on the grill. These grilling recipes highlight the season's most flavorful and abundant fresh produce.

Grilled Corn Salsa
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GRILLED CORN SALSA

Instead of just grilling ears of corn, why not switch it up by turning the blistered and charred kernels into a salsa? This easy blend of grilled veggies can be used as a traditional dipping salsa or a topping for grilled proteins. The heat from the jalapeño and the fiery grill flavor are a warm combination for cool summer nights. Remember to stay attentive at the grill. The time it takes to char the veggies will depend on how hot the grill is when you put them on.

Recipe: Bev Cooks

Grilled Okra
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GRILLED OKRA

Grilling okra downplays the sometimes slimy texture, yielding a more widely liked soft texture with smoky char. This recipe pairs the signature Southern ingredient with a smoky and spicy dipping sauce to further enhance the grilled flavor.

Recipe: The Kitchn

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
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GRILLED EGGPLANT PARMESAN

Grilling eggplant is healthier, easier, and quicker than breading and frying it. This version suggests a stovetop grill pan and finishing in the oven, but a charcoal grill will add more flavor. Finish it right on the grill in a heat-proof dish with the lid closed rather than fire up the oven.

Recipe: Food & Wine

Grilled Peppers and Sausage
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GRILLED PEPPERS AND SAUSAGE

The best part of this dish is the way the sausage juices combine with the peppers and onions, creating sweet and savory flavors. This recipe calls for turkey sausage, though any variety works. To make a spicy dish, add a few hot peppers along with the sweet bell peppers. Make the most of a hot grill by wrapping the potatoes in foil and cooking them with the other ingredients.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
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GRILLED ZUCCHINI CAPRESE SANDWICHES

Grilling zucchini gives it a meaty texture that works well with the slight char undertones. Although this version employs a grill pan, for ease during all seasons, cooking the sandwiches right on the grill will yield more depth of flavor and slightly melt the cheese, bringing all the ingredients together.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Grilled Tomatoes
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GRILLED TOMATOES

Juicy grilled tomatoes can be enjoyed as a side dish, or used in sandwiches and salads to add a smoky, tangy, and sweet element. Grilling the tomatoes over high heat will char the skin but leave the inside less cooked, which is a different approach than the recipe suggests, but equally delicious in its own way.

Recipe: Southern Living

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Rhubarb and Cucumber Salsa
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GRILLED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH RHUBARB AND CUCUMBER SALSA

Rhubarb stays on the summer produce scene late into the season, but beyond pies and preserves, it can be tricky to find a home for it in recipes. This novel recipe makes use of rubarb's naturally tart flavor by combining it with cool and sweet cucumbers to make a condiment for grilled chicken. Use this salsa on grilled proteins from chicken and pork to fish for a lasting taste of summer.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Grilled Ratatouille
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GRILLED RATATOUILLE

Grilling the vegetables brings a new dimension to this classic French vegetable dish, making it heartier and richer. To work in plenty of moisture and tomato flavor, this no-fuss recipe calls for grating and dicing the tomatoes in addition to grilling them to create a potent vinaigrette. Serve with country bread and a wedge of cheese for a complete meal.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Grilled Eggplant Salad
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GRILLED EGGPLANT SALAD

This Georgian dish combines smoky grilled eggplant with walnuts into a dip or spread that is often served with the salad course. This recipe calls for charring the eggplant, which means it should be black on the outside -- and that's where the iconic, rich smokiness of the dish comes from, so be sure not to undercook. Walnuts add a heartiness and natural fat component, but don't overdo it. A little goes a long way.

Recipe: Food & Wine

Grilled Bell Pepper Bruschetta with Gorgonzola
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GRILLED BELL PEPPER BRUSCHETTA WITH GORGONZOLA

Grilling the basic ingredients in this simple recipe emboldens the flavors, allowing them to stand up to the pungent gorgonzola. Charring and peeling the peppers takes some time, but they're just as flavorful when grilled to just shy of a char and the skins left on. To save time, prep in advance, and save the last steps of assembly and grilling the bread until you are ready to serve.

Recipe: Bobby Flay

Grilled Figs with Goat Cheese
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GRILLED FIGS WITH GOAT CHEESE

Fresh figs are a delicacy that first appear in midsummer and can be found throughout the growing season. They're nearly perfect just as they are, but slicing them in half and grilling them caramelizes the abundant natural sugars. This inspiring recipe adds a touch of goat cheese and balsamic glaze to add complexity. Figs are delicate, so be sure to watch them on the grill. The idea is to char the surface and not cook the entire fruit.

Recipe: Against All Grain

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