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33 Genius Grilling Recipes for Smarter, Better Cookouts

It's official now: we've hit the season where all we want to do is cook and eat (and swim and cannonball) outside. And—nothing against burgers and steaks—but with so much summer still stretched out ahead, we could use a few more genius ways to work our grills. On the grill, we can cook entire dinners, and anything from whole beasts to quick skewered bits. Our grill will make stars of the parts of vegetables you'd normally throw out. Here are 33 Genius recipes that'll make you fire up the grill.

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33 Genius Grilling Recipes for Smarter, Better Cookouts
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    Marcy Ragan's Grilled Panzanella Caprese

    Marcy Ragan's Grilled Panzanella Caprese

    Author Notes This recipe manages to combine three of our favorite summery Italian staples—tomato caprese + grilled bruschetta + panzanella—in an utterly simple and harmonious, if not entirely traditional, way. Adapted slightly from Marcy Ragan, private chef and caterer at Relish Your Chef. —Genius …

    April Bloomfield’s Grilled Vegetable Vinaigrette

    April Bloomfield’s Grilled Vegetable Vinaigrette

    Author Notes Feel free to use any combination of grilled vegetables and herbs you've got, but this one is especially good. As Bloomfield writes, "This is a chunky dressing that makes each bite of a salad taste different. The dressing is also good spooned over a steak and sprinkled with crumbled blue …

    Ian Knauer's Sticky Balsamic Ribs

    Ian Knauer's Sticky Balsamic Ribs

    Author Notes Ribs that ditch the low-and-slow doctrine and make you popular anyway, first published in July 2009 in Gourmet Magazine. Knauer's bake-then-grill tactic isn't new for home-cooked ribs -- but we're usually told to keep it low and slow. Instead, Knauer goes for fast and reckless. But the …

    Suzanne Goin's Grilled Pork Burgers

    Suzanne Goin's Grilled Pork Burgers

    • Makes 6 burgers Author Notes There are perfect burgers made of beef, salt, and pepper. This is not one of those burgers. And it takes not a little, but a lot more effort, if you commit to doing it right. But it's worth it, because this is probably going to be the best burger you've ever had. We tend …

    Ignacio Mattos’ Grilled Favas

    Ignacio Mattos’ Grilled Favas

    Author Notes 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. (Trust us on the anchovy.) …

    Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Buffalo Chicken Wings

    Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Buffalo Chicken Wings

    Author Notes People have done some truly obsessive things—unnecessarily, as it turns out—in the name of creating the perfect Buffalo wing. But in his classic Minimalist way, Mark Bittman waves his hand dismissively at all of it. He doesn’t pamper his wings at all, just sticks them directly under the …

    Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

    Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

    Author Notes Now that the first corn is starting to appear at the markets, it's pretty much all I can think about, all the time. The flavors are so magically summery: sweet, herbacious, charred, creamy. And it's super easy. My only advice: make a lot. —lisina Test Kitchen Notes This is a fast and …

    Grilled Bread with Goat Cheese & Green Olives

    Grilled Bread with Goat Cheese & Green Olives

    • Prep time 5 minutes • Cook time 10 minutes • Serves 4 Author Notes This is a really easy dish, but it's also really impressive-looking. It's also wine's best friend—it goes great with a drink, preferably a glass of sparkling wine. This versatile recipe uses all stuff from your pantry, so you can make …

    Sugar Steak with Bourbon

    Sugar Steak with Bourbon

    • Serves 3 to 4 Author Notes Katy Keck, a culinary consultant, told me about sugar steak, a dish completely foreign to me. What, you've never heard of it either? Good. Time for us all to get up to speed. Sugar steak is very much what it sounds like: steak that's blanketed with a sugar rub and grilled. …

    Cauliflower Steaks with Green Harissa

    Cauliflower Steaks with Green Harissa

    Author Notes You can serve these “steaks” in any number of ways—topped with grilled breadcrumbs with anchovies or over creamy feta or yogurt sauce, for instance—but I love how they play off spicy green harissa made with blistered tomatillos, serranos, and loads of aromatic herbs. This one’s a …

    Fish Tacos on the Grill

    Fish Tacos on the Grill

    Author Notes My friend Guillermo is originally from Mexico City and is a great cook. Over the years, I’ve learned a number of authentic Mexican dishes by watching over his shoulder – including pico de gallo, savory sopes and killer huevos rancheros. But there's one recipe in particular that …

    Jamie Oliver's Smoked Beets

    Jamie Oliver's Smoked Beets

    • Serves 4 as a side dish Author Notes A genius recipe adapted from Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life (Hyperion, 2008) by Jamie Oliver. You can stop at the smoked beets portion -- keep them in the fridge and slice them up for salads or burgers all week long. But we recommend you proceed to …

    Ottolenghi's Burrata With Grilled Grapes & Basil

    Ottolenghi's Burrata With Grilled Grapes & Basil

    • Prep time 1 hour 5 minutes • Cook time 5 minutes • Serves 6 as a generous starter Author Notes "Burrata—which means "buttered" in Italian—is one of life's great pleasures. The outside is firm mozzarella, the inside an oozy combination of stracciatella and cream. The combination of the three is …

    Grilled Peach & Apricot Salad

    Grilled Peach & Apricot Salad

    • Prep time 20 minutes • Cook time 15 minutes • Serves 4 Author Notes A grilled stonefruit salad for the summer: explosively juicy, still-hot peaches and apricots meet abstemious kale, with feta and prosciutto on the edge of the conversation. —Nicholas Day 1 bunch kale, destemmed • 4 apricots, halved • 4 peaches, …

    Grilled Okra with Sriracha Lime Salt

    Grilled Okra with Sriracha Lime Salt

    Author Notes A departure from fried okra, this grilled take on this quintessential Southern vegetable is sure to convert even the most skeptical okra doubter due to the addition of Sriracha in salt form. —Beth Kirby | {local milk} Serves 4 2 tablespoons Sriracha • 3 tablespoons sea or kosher salt • 2 limes' …

    Colby Garrelts' Grilled Pork Loin with Green Bean Arugula Salad

    Colby Garrelts' Grilled Pork Loin with Green Bean Arugula Salad

    Author Notes "You get flavors from grilling that you don’t get from roasting. Smokiness, first and foremost. Direct cooking gives a distinct char, and that char adds a lot of taste. You can grill pork loin with charcoal or wood, or gas. Grilling is just really convenient—it’s outside, there’s less …

    Grilled Chicken Thighs With Lemongrass Glaze

    Grilled Chicken Thighs With Lemongrass Glaze

    • Prep time 50 minutes • Cook time 20 minutes • Makes 6 whole chicken thighs Author Notes This recipe is inspired by the flavors of Thailand and Vietnam. Lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chili, and fish sauce are the essential ingredients in the glaze. The addition of lime and fresh cilantro, added at the end as …

    Black Bean and Corn Burgers

    Black Bean and Corn Burgers

    • Prep time 20 minutes • Cook time 50 minutes • Serves 4 to 6 Author Notes These veggie burgers are a little bit spicy, thanks to a mixture of paprika, cumin, and chili, and a little bit sweet, thanks to fresh summer corn. They've got texture, taste, and tons of nutrition, too. This recipe was featured on our …

    Grilled Banana with Chocolate & Crushed Peanut Brittle

    Grilled Banana with Chocolate & Crushed Peanut Brittle

    Author Notes The banana peel becomes a cooking vessel on the grill. Slit it lengthwise down one side, then all kinds of sweet things can happen inside. The whole package goes over direct heat—you can even put it on a piece of foil set right on top of coals, if you like. Eat it straight from the …

    Asparagus With Lemon-Pepper Marinade From Bryant Terry

    Asparagus With Lemon-Pepper Marinade From Bryant Terry

    • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes • Cook time 5 minutes • Serves 4 to 6 Author Notes Chef, author, and activist Bryant Terry may have designed this recipe for asparagus, but it offers a template that will bring any vegetable in your crisper to life. Just blanch, marinate, then grill (or broil), using a marinade …

    Grilled Bread Salad With Broccoli Rabe & Summer Squash

    Grilled Bread Salad With Broccoli Rabe & Summer Squash

    Author Notes There are the two main reasons for making this salad: First, the grill does all the work, freeing you from a hot kitchen in the summer, and second, it’s crazy good. The mayonnaise marinade for the vegetables creates a wonderful blistery crust. I’ve chosen a mix of broccoli rabe and …

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