Grilled Fruits for Summer

How to pair them for maximum flavor!

By Kate Finlay Zimmerman, Publisher, Macaroni KID Pasadena June 13, 2024

Nothing says summer better than a nice barbeque sear on firm, sweet fruit served alongside savory grilled meats. It brings in all the good feelings of casual meals with friends that summer often brings.

Grilled fruits are simple to cook, but for those who don’t do it at home often, sometimes pairing fruits with the right meal can feel daunting.  Here are several ways to pair up the best grilling fruits with can’t-miss summer flavors. 

Peaches grill up best when first brushed with a little olive oil before being placed cut-side down on the grill.  Just slice each one in half and remove the pit first.
  1. They practically beg to be paired up with fresh fish or shrimp atop leafy greens. The peach flavor is the star here, so you don’t need to add much else, except perhaps some diced avocado or sliced cucumber.
  2. Make a simple summery bruschetta by topping grilled baguette slices with ricotta cheese and slices of grilled peach.
  3.  Amaze your friends and family by topping fresh grilled peaches with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.  A sprinkling of cinnamon, cardamom and pecans will make it unforgettable!


Cut a watermelon into spears sans the rind for the best even grilling.  Set a mini / personal watermelon on its end and slice the rind off each of the 4 sides, then flip onto its side and cut the rind off both ends.  Next, cut into 1 to 1.5 in slices one way, and then slice the slices into spears by cutting into 1 to 1.5 in strips the other way.   Trim the remaining white off of the outer spears, and you’re ready to pop them onto the grill. 
  1. Serve it as a wonderful side dish alongside burgers or grilled chicken sandwiches. If you like it spicy, top the watermelon with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chili powder.
  2. Grilled watermelon makes a lovely salad when paired with feta cheese and possibly a little fresh mint.
  3. For a dessert, watermelon can be paired up with fresh strawberries.  Drizzle them with honey and aged balsamic vinegar to elevate the dish to a new level of decadence.

The best way to learn to cut a pineapple is to watch a Hawaiian bartender.  They lop off the top and bottom, then make short work of the spiny peel by slicing straight (or diagonally) downward in quick motions all the way around.  Don’t cut too thin, as the raphides (spikes) can go pretty deep; it’s better to cut a good ¼ to ½ inch off at a time.  Next, cut the pineapple in half  from top to bottom, right down through the center of the core lengthwise.  Flip the two naked halves over, so they are rounded side up on the cutting board, and slice through the core again the long way so you end up with four long quarters.  Now you can slice the core off easily by trimming off the firm center corner.  Cut each of the 4 pineapple quarters into three tall spears and stab each the long way through with a kabob skewer.   Once you get used to this method, you’ll be able to turn a pineapple from a spiky plant to 12 delicious, grill-ready spears in under 3 minutes.
  1. Pineapple spears are wonderful served alongside kabobs of any teriyaki-marinaded meat.  Tri-tip, Pork, or Chicken – or a combination of the 3 - blend beautifully with the golden fruit.  (Just grill them on separate skewers so you   can time the cooking appropriately.)
  2.  Add diced, grilled pineapple to salsa or top your tacos for a sweet tanginess that doesn’t overwhelm.
  3. For dessert, nothing beats warm, grilled pineapple with vanilla ice cream, macadamia nuts and a drizzle of honey.  Heaven!