A great barbeque is more than just things that go between a bun! Take advantage of your fired-up grill to throw on some super-seasonal fruit and vegetable additions, and quickly create a stunning warm salad that may just steal the whole meal. (Outdoor barbeque not in the plan? Just heat up a cast iron grill pan on the stove instead.)
A simple trick to making almost any fruit or vegetable become grill-ready in seconds is brushing on a little coconut oil, which locks in moisture and flavor. Case in point: in this salad, although peaches are the easiest to cook thanks to their large size, you can also use other stone fruit such as plums and apricots—just keep in mind that the smaller fruits will cook more quickly. And since the fruit will soften while cooking, look for produce that is firm enough to easily stay intact on the grill (and save those glorious drip-down-the-chin peaches for a little a la carte bliss). Enjoy summertime’s bounty to the fullest: from the generous daylight, to the delicious fresh fare.
Summertime Grilled Salad
1 large red onion
1 yellow bell pepper
2 pounds peaches, or other seasonal stone fruit
2 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s Organic Coconut Oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2 lemons, halved width-wise
1 bunch watercress, trimmed
½ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Prepare the produce first: slice the onion into 1/2-inch rounds, then remove the papery peel from each slice; place on a plate. Cut the bell pepper into 1-inch thick long strips, removing the seeds and white rib. Place in a bowl. Cut each peach into 4 large pieces, slicing the peach “cheeks” and the sides off from the pit. (Plums can be sliced the same way, while apricots can simply be halved and pitted.) Place the fruit in a separate bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan until fully liquid and slightly warm, then remove from heat.
Brush the onion slices lightly with coconut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Flip the slices and repeat on the opposite side. Lightly brush the cut surface of the lemons with coconut oil as well. Add ½ tablespoon of the coconut oil to the bell peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Pour the remaining coconut oil onto the cut fruit, season with a little pepper only, and toss to coat.
To a very hot grill (or grill pan if using a stovetop), add the onions and peppers, and grill for several minutes on each side until well seared. Transfer to a medium bowl. Grill the lemons cut side down, remove once partially browned, and set aside separately. Grill the fruit, cut side down, for a couple minutes to sear.
Flip the fruit to grill for an additional minute on the opposite side, then transfer to the bowl with the vegetables and toss gently.
To a large serving platter or individual plates, create the salad in layers: add a few grilled vegetables and fruits, sprinkle with a little basil and watercress leaves, then repeat. Drizzle the top with the maple syrup, and squeeze 2 of the lemon halves over the salad, plating the remaining two on the side for additional dressing as desired. Sprinkle the top with a couple pinches of salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Julie Morris is a California-based natural foods chef, on-camera personality, and New York Times best-selling cookbook author. Julie’s mission is simple: to share recipes and nutrition tips that make a vibrantly healthy lifestyle both easy to achieve and delicious to follow.