Grilled Peach Halves Stuffed with Cheese and Chipotle Raspberry Puree

Grilled Sides and Desserts

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Grilled Peach Halves Stuffed with Cheese and Chipotle Raspberry Puree


Grilled Panzananella Salad with Hot Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

Grilled Artichokes Stuffed with Serrano Cilantro Aioli

Grilled Spring Asparagus with Spicy Lemon Mop

Grilled Mediterranean Potato Salad with Yogurt-Cayenne Dressing

Chile and Dried Cherry Chocolate Dessert

Grilled Rum Bananas with Nutmeg Whipped Cream

Calypso Grilled Mango

Grand Marnier Ancho Chocolate Dessert Kabobs

 Grilled Peach Halves Stuffed with Cheese and Chipotle Raspberry Puree

By Dave DeWitt & Nancy Gerlach

Grilling and barbecuing seem to have recurrent side dishes like potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and the like. They’re all usually prepared in the kitchen and have nothing to do with the grill. We decided not to complete ignore those real traditional sides because it’s time for a side revolution. Let’s start using the grill for side dishes. Even our desserts are grilled! Okay, partially grilled.

In the summer we love to create dishes from what we can immediately find in our gardens and bypass the kitchen by using the grill. Chiles are routinely roasted on the grill and then peeled, and when you use the same technique with tomatoes and onions, you can make a simple but delicious grilled salsa. Whole heads of garlic can be dipped in olive oil and then grilled. The soft cloves are then pushed out of the peels and spread over toasted bread with goat cheese and a little chile powder–a spectacular tasting but simple side dish. And if you wanted to place the goat cheese and grilled garlic on fresh bread, and then grill it, we wouldn’t discourage you.

A favorite side dish is salads, and they also can be grilled or partially grilled. The concept is not new; for centuries in Tuscany, heads of endive have been grilled with a little olive oil and salt. Spinach can be wilted on the grill for use in salads, accompanied by grilled tomatoes, mushrooms onions, leeks, and bell peppers that are all chopped together.

Pieces of fruit grilled in a basket or on skewers make a great accompaniment to grilled fish, and also can be part a wonderful dessert. The sugars in the fruits caramelize and add sweetness. Some of our favorite grilled fruits are pineapples, mangos, bananas, and peaches. These grilled fruits are great mixed with yogurt or ice cream, or even with just a dollop of whipped cream over them.

Charcoal-Grilled Fruit for Dessert

Mixed Grill. Cut fruit of choice in half, remove core and seeds or pits, and arrange in a hinged grill. Squeeze a lemon over the surfaces; sprinkle with sugar and a dash of ground cinnamon and grill quickly until just hot. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle a little brandy or sweet liqueur over all.” –Maggie Waldron

Suggested Fruits for Grilling

  • Banana–Sliced in half lengthwise

  • Mango–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Orange–Single sections

  • Papaya–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Peach–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Pear–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Pineapple–1/2 inch thick rings

  • Strawberry–Sliced in half


Grilled Panzananella Salad with Hot Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

Yes, you can grill some salad ingredients! This modified Italian recipe uses leftover bread, and grilling the stale bread keeps it from getting soggy in the salad. It is a nice accompaniment to grilled meats and poultry and the heat level builds as you eat it.

Hot Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 small fresh red chiles, such as serrano or jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

  • Garlic Brushing Oil

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne chile

Panzananella Salad

  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 4 1-inch thick slices, day old Italian bread, crusts removed

  • 1 stalk of celery, including the leaves, finely sliced

  • ½ cup stuffed green olives, halved

  • 1 large red leaf lettuce leaf, finely sliced

  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

To make the dressing, bring the wine to a simmer in a small saucepan.. Add the chopped tomatoes. Remove from the heat and cool.

In a bowl, combine the remaining dressing ingredients, add the tomatoes and let sit for an hour at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend.

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, and cayenne. Toss the tomatoes in the mixture and marinate for 30 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oil and place in a grill basket.

In a grill basket, grill the tomatoes over a medium fire until just heated, about 2 minutes. Brush the bread with the oil and grill for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly marked. Cut the bread into ½ to 3/4-inch cubes.

In a bowl, toss the remaining salad ingredients together with the grilled tomatoes and bread cubes. Top with the dressing, grated cheese and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

Grilled Artichokes Stuffed with Serrano Cilantro Aioli

This is an extremely versatile dish that can be done ahead of time and thrown back on the grill as it is heating up, and it can be served either warm or cold. To take a short cut with the aioli, we have used a prepared mayonnaise as the base.

  • 4 small fresh artichokes

  • 2 lemon slices

  • Cayenne Marinade

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne chile

  • Green Chile Cilantro Aioli

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 teaspoons minced serrano chiles

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

Cut the artichokes in half vertically and scoop out the center leaves and the “fur” of the choke. Immediately squeeze some lemon juice over the center and cut leaves to keep the artichoke from discoloring. Poach the artichokes in boiling water until the leaves just start to come off easily.

Remove the artichokes and drain. Drizzle the marinade over the artichokes and marinate, coved for a couple of hours at room temperature.

Combine all the ingredients for the aioli and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or more to blend the flavors.

Grill the artichokes over a medium-low fire for 10 minutes or until the heart is tender.

To serve, place the artichokes on plates and place a dollop of the aioli in the center of each artichoke and serve with additional aioli on the side.

Yield: 4 to 8 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

Grilled Spring Asparagus with Spicy Lemon Mop

No, you can’t use canned or frozen–it only works with fresh asparagus, so take advantage of those spring asparagus months. This is an excellent accompaniment to grilled seafood, and you can find some of that in chapter 8.

Spicy Lemon Mop

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh preferred

  • 2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley or rosemary

  • Freshly ground black pepper

The Asparagus

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus

Combine all the ingredients for the mop and mix well.

Cut off the tough stem ends of the asparagus, rinse and place in non-reactive, shallow bowl. Pour the mop over the asparagus and marinate, at room temperature, for an hour.

Grill the asparagus over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until done but still crisp.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

Grilled Mediterranean Potato Salad with Yogurt-Cayenne Dressing

A vegetable basket is the best way to grill the major ingredients for this salad. Toss the salad together just before serving or the warm potatoes will absorb all the dressing! You could also allow the potatoes to cook first.

Yogurt-Cayenne Dressing

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

  • Salt to taste

Grilled Mediterranean Potato Salad

  • 6 small red potatoes, diced into eighths

  • 1 small red onion, thickly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ cup chopped New Mexican green chile

  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

  • 1/3 cup sliced stuffed green onions

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

In a bowl, toss the potatoes and onions in the oil. Place the potatoes in a vegetable basket and place on the grill. Grill for about 15 minutes over a medium fire, shaking the basket often and watching for flare-ups from the olive oil. Add the onions and grill for 5 more minutes. Remove from the grill and chop the onions.

In a bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, and chile with the dressing until coated. Add the remaining ingredients, toss to mix and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

Chile and Dried Cherry Chocolate Dessert

This layered dessert is unique in that it can be cooked on the grill. It does have chile in it, so it can become an honorary member of the barbecue inferno. Don’t worry, ancho powder is quite mild, with a nice raisiny flavor. The finished dessert has a cakelike topping and a chocolate syrup on the bottom. You can serve it with whipped cream, or to be truly decadent, with the Rum Glaze.

The Pudding

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Pinch ground nutmeg

  • ½ cup milk

  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, soaked in water to plump

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

The Topping

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • Rum Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/4 pound butter

  • 1/4 cup water

  • ½ cup dark rum

Sift all the dry ingredients for the pudding into a large mixing bowl. Add the milk, cherries, butter, and vanilla and mix until well blended. Pour into a well-greased, 9-inch square metal pan.

Combine all the ingredients for the topping in a bowl and spread over the pudding mixture. Slowly pour the boiling water over the top, but don’t stir it in.

Heat a gas grill to low or bank 20 low-glowing coals on each side of the bottom of the grill unit. Place the cooking grill 4 to 6 inches above the coals. Place baking pan in center of of grill so that no part is direcly over coals. In a gas grill, light one burner and place the pan over the unlit burner. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. The pudding should be slightly crusty on top with a syrupy bottom.

To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients except the rum in a saucepan and simmer for 5 to ten minutes. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, and stir in the rum.

Spoon the pudding into dishes and top with whipped cream or the Rum Glaze.

Yield: 6 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

Grilled Rum Bananas with Nutmeg Whipped Cream

Remember this rule: the firmer the banana, the better it grills. Ripe bananas turn to mush, fall through the grill and embarrass the cook. You can start this dessert while eating the entree, and it will be ready when you are. You can also use aluminum foil over the grill rather than the aluminum pan, if you wish.

The Bananas

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup dark rum

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons commercial fruit and habanero hot sauce

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons melted butter

  • 4 small firm bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise

Nutmeg Whipped Cream

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon rum

  • Grated nutmeg

In a bowl, combine the sugar, rum, soy sauce, Pickapeppa Sauce, lime juice, and butter.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in a disposable aluminum pan and drizzle the rum mixture over the top. Set the pan on the grill over a medium fire, cover, and cook for 10 minutes basting frequently with the sauce. Continue to grill until the bananas are glazed and tender, about another 5 to 10 minutes.

Prepare the cream by whipping the cream, sugar, and rum together in a cold bowl until stiff.

To serve, place the bananas on individual serving plates, drizzle a teaspoon of the remaining sauce over them, top with a dollop of whip cream, and garnish with the grated nutmeg.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

Calypso Grilled Mango

Grilling caramelizes the sugar and honey in the sauce, making the fruit sweeter. This is obviously a dessert, but it can be served as a side dish to barbecued ribs, poultry, or fish. Other firm fruits will work, such as peaches or pineapple, but make sure that they are slightly under ripe. It is difficult to grill ripe fruit.

Rum and Habanero Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh preferred

  • ½ teaspoon lime juice, fresh preferred

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract

  • ½ teaspoon ground habanero chile

The Mangoes

  • 2 mangoes, slightly under ripe

  • Vanilla ice cream

  • Toasted shredded coconut

  • Chopped macadamia nuts

Prepare the sauce by combining the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove and cool

Peel the mangoes and remove the flesh by cutting away from the seed on the flat side of each fruit. You should have 2 large slices of fruit from each mango.

Brush the mango slices with some of the sauce and let stand for 5 minutes. Oil a clean grill, place the mango slices in a grill basket, and grill over a low fire until lightly browned and glazed, turning often, basting with the sauce. The grilling should take about 4 to 6 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle the coconut over 4 serving plates, place a mango slice and a scoop of ice cream over the coconut, drizzle remaining sauce over all, and top with the macadamia nuts.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

Grand Marnier Ancho Chocolate Dessert Kabobs

A purchased cake works well in this recipe and you don’t have to go to the trouble of baking one from scratch. You can substitute Kahlua or other coffee liqueur for the Grand Marnier, and you can use other fruits such as pineapple.

Grand Marnier Sauce

  • 8 ounce milk chocolate bar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liquor

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile

The Fruit Kabobs

  • 1 medium ripe peach, peeled, cut into wedges

  • 1 sightly under ripe banana, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 12 1-inch cubes angel food cake

  • Grated orange peel, fresh mint leaves for garnish

Soak 4 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.

To make the sauce, break up the chocolate and melt it in a saucepan over very low heat. Add the cream, stir well, and remove from the heat. Add the Grand Marnier and chile and stir well.

Using two skewers together to prevent flopping, thread the peaches, bananas, and cake onto the skewers.

Grill the kabobs directly over medium heat until the cake is toasted, turning once.

To serve, remove the fruit and cake from the skewers and place on plates. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, and garnish with orange zest and mint leaves

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

Grilled Peach Halves Stuffed with Cheese and Chipotle Raspberry Puree

Do not peel the peaches. The Chipotle chile adds a nice hint of heat and smoke to this spectacular way to end a great meal off the grill. An interesting variation is to substitute Stilton cheese for the goat cheese.

The Peaches

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

  • 2 firm ripe peaches, cut in half vertically, pits removed

  • Finely chopped walnuts for garnish

  • Cheese Filling

  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, at room temperature

  • Raspberry Puree

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile

Combine the brown sugar, lime juice, and vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, add the peaches, and marinate for an additional 20 minutes. .

In a small bowl, mix the cheeses together and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

To make the puree, slightly thaw the raspberries. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Remove the peaches from the marinade and place them in a grill basket with handles. Grill them flesh side down over a medium-hot fire. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes until the grill marks show. Turn and grill until the peaches are soft.

To serve, spoon some of the raspberry puree on a dessert plate, place the peach cut side up on the sauce. Put a dollop of cheese in the center of the peach and top with additional puree, and garnish with the walnuts.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Mild


Excerpt from Barbecue Inferno, published by Ten Speed Press 2001, and available from


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