Sorry -- I'm a day later than I promised I'd be! These aren't exactly recipes, by the way... more like "suggestions." Here goes!
Bruschetta Kabobs (or, "Greek Salad on a Stick")
My original thought was to do bruschetta on the grill -- toast up some nice bread over the coals, rub it with fresh garlic, and top it with olive tapenade. One day last week, lying by the pool, I contemplated this idea and was suddenly struck with... an epiphany! I wondered what would happen if I toasted chunks of bread, olives, and onions on skewers. I am happy to report that the results were great. This was my favorite dish of the day. I bought a nice multi-grain batard and cut it into approx. 1" chunks. I threaded the bread cubes, kalamata olives, red onion slices, and pepperoncinis on my skewers, misted them with olive oil, and let them go. They only took a minute or so on each side. I got exactly the effect I wanted -- crusty, toasty bread that was still chewy on the inside, and lots of flavor from the olives, onions, and peppers. I had originally tried putting cubes of feta cheese on the skewers, too, but they just crumbled as I threaded them. Live and learn. The kabobs were still excellent. I will definitely try this one again!
Eggplant Parmesan Mini Pizzas This one is based on a recipe I recently saw in my mom's "Woman's Day" magazine.
Firtst, I cut an eggplant into 1/2" slices. I misted the slices with olive oil and put them on the grill. For this step, I used a couple handfuls of mesquite wood chips on top of the charcoal for extra smokiness. I certainly got it! When the eggplant was nice and browned, with pretty grill marks, I took it off the grill and cut it into bite-size pieces.
I got out my leftover "fiesta pizza" dough from a couple of weeks ago and made mini crusts. I grilled them on one side for about five minutes, until they were brown and, well, crusty! I took them off the grill, flipped them so the cooked side was up, and layered on the following toppings: pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, small dollops of ricotta, eggplant chunks, dried basil and oregano (they didn't have any fresh at the grocery store!), and freshly grated parmesan. Back onto the grill, covered, for maybe ten minutes (I so rarely time anything!) until the bottoms of the crusts were brown and the cheese was all gooey and melty.
The pizzas, unfortunately, were still a little bland. We sprinkled on some crushed red pepper, which kicked them up a bit. Next time I make this, I will probably season the eggplant before I grill it, and try harder to find some fresh herbs. The smokiness of the eggplant was nice, though. And the pizzas were actually even better the next day!
Fruit Kabobs with Ginger Dip
This is painfully easy -- I put white nectarine chunks, (canned) pineapple chunks, and star fruit slices on skewers, and grilled them. Unfortunately, the coals were burning pretty low by this point, so I didn't get as much caramelization as I'd hoped I would, but they still came out OK. If you've never had grilled pineapple, you're missing out! The nectarines and star fruit were nice, too. =) The dip, which I got the recipe for at the grocery store, is also very easy -- one cup vanilla yogurt, eight ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup honey, and two teaspoons freshly grated ginger. Mix until smooth, chill one hour, and serve with slices of your favorite fruit. I have to confess, I didn't measure the ginger -- I just grated some in until it looked like there was a lot of it, then put in a little more. It was much more gingery than the sample I had in the store (and much better)! I don't think I used as much honey as it wanted, either... but I didn't exactly measure it.
Considering how little I've actually grilled in my life, I'm very happy with the way everything turned out. This was a great way to get myself into the grilling groove. I can't wait to try it again!
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