All winter long, we dream of sunshine. Sure, we like the warm weather for the tank tops and the flip flops. But, the real draw for us is getting to dust off our grills. There are so many foods that are simply better when grilled. Bread becomes charred and sexy. Vegetables get a smoky flavor boost. Even dessert gets more interesting when you can use your grill. So, what are you waiting for? Put on your tank top, grab your flip flops, and head outside. The grill is waiting.
Photo by James RansomRecipe: Spicy Shrimp opens in a new tab
The combination of Sriracha with a few everyday ingredients—olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and cilantro—creates a sublime marinade for shrimp. But it's the sugar that makes this dish—on the grill, the sugar caramelizes, giving the shrimp a laquered feel, and its sweetness balances the kick of the Sriracha.
Photo by James RansomRecipe: Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto and Preserved Lemon Cream opens in a new tab
We love the simple, rustic quality of this dish—grilled bread is so much better than toasted, and the heady perfume of the thyme pesto seduces you before you can even get the toast to your mouth. The preserved lemon cream softens any rough edges and adds richness. This also has the ability to inspire endless adaptations: you use a different herb for the pesto, dab with ricotta instead of lemon cream, or, top with a fried egg.
Photo by James RansomRecipe: Ignacio Matto’s Grilled Favas opens in a new tab
Look for the smallest, cutest favas you can find. But even if you're stuck with the big, gnarly ones, you can eat the pods you want, and just pop out the inner beans for the ones you don't—they'll still slide out more easily after they've been cooked to a beautiful, crisp char on the outside. Oh, and trust us on the anchovy.
Photo by James RansomRecipe: Chimichurri Lamb Chops opens in a new tab
The chimichurri sauce is bursting with flavors and can be used as a salad dressing, as a topper for fish, chicken or steak or drizzled over tomatoes. Making extra and storing the rest in the fridge is a good way to go.
Photo by Jennifer CauseyRecipe: Grilled Apricots with Whipped Ricotta, Basil, and Sherry Vinegar Syrup opens in a new tab
Ripe apricot halves are barely kissed by the grill, and then topped with an airy spoonful of ricotta and basil and a drizzle of sherry vinegar syrup. Dessert in a flash.
Photo by James RansomRecipe: Fish Tacos on the Grill opens in a new tab
This is what we dream of all winter: tender chunks of grilled white fish nestled in a soft, warm flour tortilla among strips of sweet onion and green pepper, creamy slices of avocado and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. There are lime wedges for spritzing and plenty of homemade salsa.
What are you putting on the grill as the weather warms up? Share your ideas in the comments section below.