Throw some fruit on the barbie

Sweet and healthy treat … grilled pineapple.
Spring’s here, which means many of us will be cleaning up our barbecues getting them ready for warmer weather.

Something you may want to add to your grill repertoire this year is fruit.

Virtually any type of fruit – even clusters of grapes – can be grilled, so long as it’s still firm. Sturdier fruits, including oranges, lemons and apples, can be sliced into wedges or halves and placed directly on the grates. Softer, more delicate varieties (bananas, mangoes, strawberries) are best skewered or sliced.

Particularly popular this year is grilled watermelon, which may seem strange considering that it’s full of water. Shouldn’t it disintegrate as soon as it hits the hot grates?

Surprisingly, no. Watermelon holds up pretty well if you slice it thickly enough – rind on or off, it’s up to you – and brush the surface with a little oil or butter to prevent sticking. Plus, it’s not as sweet as you might think, and gets the same lovely grill marks as a piece of zucchini or eggplant.

Figs, pineapple and stone fruit are also delicious grilled but almost any fruit can be thrown on the barbie.


16 fresh figs
110g blue cheese, at room temperature
110g mascarpone, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
170g thinly sliced country ham or prosciutto

  1. Slice figs in half lengthwise. Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out a bit of the flesh, taking care not to break the skin, and put into a bowl. Add blue cheese and mascarpone and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer vinegar until it is reduced to about 6 tablespoons and nice and syrupy. Let cool, but keep at room temperature.
  3. Take each fig half and stuff with a tablespoon of fig mixture. Wrap a piece of ham around the fig and stuffing. Place on baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to four hours.
  4. Oil grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with lid of barbecue closed for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove figs from refrigerator and place each on the grill, cut side up. Close lid and cook them until the ham is a bit crispy and figs are warm, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove to a platter and drizzle with the reserved balsamic syrup. Serve immediately.

Makes 16 appetisers.


250g brown sugar
6cm piece ginger, peeled and julienned
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
120ml dark rum
2 ripe pineapples, peeled, cored and cut into 3cm slices
3 tbsp icing sugar

  1. Place sugar, ginger, lemon juice and zest, cloves, cinnamon and rum in a small saucepan, bring to the boil over a medium heat and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Spoon half the mix over pineapple pieces and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Grill pineapple pieces on a hot griddle for about 3 minutes on each side, until caramelised. Remove from the griddle.
  3. Place grilled pineapple on a plate, spoon over remaining marinade and serve.

Serves 6


16 cubes (2.5cm) peeled seedless watermelon
8 large basil leaves
8 cubes (2cm) feta cheese (170g)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

  1. Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat grill to high. Carefully thread 2 watermelon cubes onto each skewer. Grill, flipping, until grill marks appear, about 1 minute per side.
  3. Carefully thread 1 basil leaf and 1 feta cube onto each skewer. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil.

Serves 4.


Fruit crumble is the ultimate quick dessert. But why turn on the oven when you’ve got a perfectly good grill on the balcony?

3/4 cup coarsely crushed plain biscuits
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup butter
5 medium fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vanilla ice cream for serving

  1. Prepare crumble topping by mixing crushed biscuits, brown sugar and flour in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, work in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, white sugar, lemon juice, corn flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Place the peach mixture in a 1-litre disposable foil pan. Cover pan tightly with foil.
  3. Preheat grill, then reduce to medium. Adjust for indirect heating. Place foil pan on grill rack over the burner that is turned off. Cover and grill for 30 minutes. Uncover pan. Sprinkle topping evenly over peach mixture in foil pan. Cover grill; cook for 10 to 15 minutes more or until mixture is bubbly and topping is light brown.
  4. Remove foil pan from grill. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6.


If navel oranges are out of season use Valencia (simply pick out the seeds). This sauce is delicious on vanilla ice cream.

4 to 6 navel oranges
1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, triple sec or another orange-flavoured liqueur
1/2 litre vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

  1. Prepare a medium-hot grill.
  2. Grate 2 teaspoons zest off oranges, and then peel oranges. Cut each into 4 slices horizontally. Combine raspberries, sugar, liqueur and orange zest in a small mixing bowl. Mash fruit gently, and set aside.
  3. Grill orange slices for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side, uncovered if using a charcoal grill, until browned.
  4. To serve, arrange orange slices on the bottom of bowls, and top with ice cream and raspberry sauce. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Best to use a grill tray or basket for this quick dessert. Skewer small berries whole. 

1 cup icing sugar
48 medium-sized fresh strawberries
Lemon sorbet

  1. Place icing sugar in a small bowl. Halve strawberries. Thread strawberry halves on 10cm skewers. Dip skewered berries in icing sugar, turning to coat. Place berries on a greased grill tray.
  2. For a charcoal grill, grill strawberries on grill tray on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium-low coals for about 6 minutes, or until strawberries are heated through, turning frequently.
  3. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place strawberries on grill tray on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as directed.
  4. Serve strawberries with a scoop of sorbet.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: SHNS and