Summer is established for the year, which means we absolutely don’t want to cook in our kitchens. It’s too hot in there, so we’re getting out and heating up the grill. And we don’t want to limit ourselves to the traditional stuff. Burgers are great and we’re happy to serve them, but they can’t be the only thing we’re offering. So, to make sure we’re serving our guests the best and only from the grill, we have a few recipes for great grilled snacks and appetizers.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Grilled fruit was a revelation to us, so now we’re always on the lookout for a good recipe. This salad fits the bill. It doesn’t waste time with iceberg or romaine lettuce, our two main turn offs for salad. Instead, we’re dealing with arugula, a leafy green that has some actual taste. This salad is small but satisfying and serves as a perfect starter for a barbecue. Recipe


Cilantro and Chile Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp

We still chuckle at the oxymoron that is jumbo shrimp, not that we’re keen on rehashing an aging joke. But there are shrimp big enough to be stuffed, apparently. It’s not a ton of stuffing, so it’s more like you’re putting a great sauce inside rather than dipping. The stuffing is a deliciously spicy mix of lime juice, cilantro, jalapeños, and scallions with another herb or two thrown in for good measure. Shrimp always goes over well at a party, but there’s a danger that people will get bored with it. Having a few shrimp recipes in the cookbook is a good way to solve that problem. Recipe


Jalapeño Poppers

We couldn’t ignore the old jalapeño popper. It’s too reliable an appetizer to go unmentioned. This one’s a little different though. Instead of the breaded coating you’re likely to find at pizza places and diners, you get a thick bacon wrap around a cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and corn filling. The bacon crisps really well on the grill, the cheese obviously melts together, and the peppers get a nice roast on the skin. They’re like a spicier roasted red pepper, though not quite so soft. Recipe


Margherita and Olive Fontina Pizza

For most of us, making pizza on the grill is the closest we’ll ever get to homemade brick oven pizza. There’s a good amount of tasty char and crisp on the crust, while the toppings melt and mix together. Speaking of the toppings, the pine nuts we could take or leave, but we’ve never gone wrong with olives on pizza, though we’d imagine some of you have reasonably strong feelings in the opposite direction. No matter what, the way they all combine makes this the perfect appetizer for a small, casual summer get together. Recipe


Grilled Squash Ribbons and Prosciutto with Mint Dressing

Nothing in the name of this dish sounds like it should work together. Squash is a solid summer vegetable and one of our favorites, and prosciutto is a delicious Italian meat, but mixing the two together isn’t where we would have gone naturally. Add the mint dressing on top and you have a lot of unrelated things on a skewer. Yet, when you actually make it, you’ll realize these flavors go together so much better than you expect. The prosciutto is already salty and hearty, so bringing in the lighter squash and mint balances it out well. You could have a dozen of these skewers and not feel full. Recipe


Grilled Sriracha Hot Wings

Obviously, if we have the chance to make wings at home, we’re going to take it. Making those wings on the grill just makes it a more summery activity. We’re absolutely on the sriracha hype train and will jump at the chance to put it in anything we’re making on our patio. Our favorite thing about the wings, and sriracha in general, is how approachable the taste is. There’s plenty of heat for people who like that, and there’s a sweetness on top of that, which helps bring in people who don’t normally like a really hot wing. Sriracha is the great equalizer of backyard chicken wings. Recipe


Armadillo Eggs

When we first saw this, we had to double check that armadillos don’t lay eggs (they don’t; they give birth to four identical babies every time). Once we were satisfied we hadn’t missed some very important parts of biology, we were comfortable looking into the recipe more. Instead of some kind of platypus egg type mixup, what you actually have here is a stuffed sausage dish, with jalapeños making up the main filler. It’s a jalapeño popper that also lets you eat sausage. No one loses here. Except vegans. Recipe


Grilled Avocado with Cherry Tomatoes and Herbs

This is probably the loosest recipe on the list. Basically, all you need to do is put together a bunch of herbs you like, get some pine nuts and tomatoes, and get grilling. It’s simple and satisfying, with great flavors and a finger on the pulse of trendy eating. It’ll also probably be one of those dishes that gets you way more credit than you deserve for the effort. Never a bad thing to have that kind of dish at whatever shindig you’re hosting. Recipe


French Toast Kebab

The only thing that says you can’t grill for breakfast is common practice and we’re all for breaking through those barriers. There’s some long term prep for this one, so we’d recommend it for a Saturday morning. That way, you have time to set things up the night before, then can lazily take your time with cooking the next morning. This also incentives you to eat breakfast outside, which we’ve found to be a unique experience. We’ve never woken up better or happier than when we get to sit outside and start our day with a delicious breakfast. Recipe


Planked Twice Baked Potatoes

The twice baked potato is the greatest potato style ever made. The only problem is how much effort it takes to craft it. Most people stop by the time they’ve made the mashed potatoes that precede the second baking and we totally understand. Though if you can hang in there for the second major step, you’ll have a delicious appetizer that could sometimes serve as your main dish depending on who’s eating. It’s also cooked on a wooden plank, so you get that extra bit of smokey indirect heat and flavor. Recipe

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