Appetizers on the Grill

With the advent of warmer temperatures, it’s time to get back to one of the great summertime traditions: grilling!  Naturally, when we think of grilling, we think of MEAT.  Steaks, burgers, chicken, even fish.  But it can also be fun to make your entertaining apps on the grill.  If you’re hosting an outdoor gathering, the designated grillmaster can interact with guests while grilling and assembling.  Here are a couple of fun, unique grilled starters.

grilled corn, bacon, and chile crostini (adapted from weber)

  • 2 ears corn, shucked
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 strips bacon, julienned
  • 2 Fresno chile peppers, cut into thin rounds
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 6 thick slices baguette
  • 2 cloves garlic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat a grill to medium. Lightly brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until the corn is charred on all sides and the kernels are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool, then cut the kernels off the cobs.Drizzle a saute pan with olive oil; add the bacon and bring to medium heat. When the bacon is browned and crispy, add the chiles and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the corn kernels and toss to combine. Season with salt and stir in the vinegar. Toss in the scallions and remove from the heat. Toast the baguette slices on the grill until lightly charred. Remove the toasts and rub with the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and top with the corn-bacon mixture.

grilled apricot, arugula and goat cheese bites (adapted from food & wine)

  • 6 fresh apricots, halved and pitted
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch (4 ounces) arugula, stemmed
  • One 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese, cut into 12 slices
Light a grill. In a medium bowl, toss the apricots with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Grill the apricot halves over high heat for about 5 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred and softened.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and finely chop.
Put the pine nuts in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and toss. Arrange the goat cheese slices on plates. Top with the apricot halves and arugula salad.