During the summer months I try to cook outdoors as much as possible and my grill definitely gets a workout. It’s not just for burgers and steaks anymore, I cook almost anything and everything on it. If you are the adventurous type then start thinking and cooking outside of the box and use your grill to create some really delicious and unique dishes. Here are a few of my favourite items to cook on the grill that will truly impress your dinner guests:

Greens
There are many types of greens that hold up to grilling, the heartier types are the best and will allow you to get a nice char on them without becoming wilted or soggy. Romaine, radicchio, endive, bok choy and cabbage are ideal on the barbecue. Brush them lightly with oil and grill them over medium heat just until charred. Then toss with your favourite dressing and you have given your regular salad a new level of complexity.

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Pizza
Cooking pizza on the grill infuses a really fantastic crispy, smokey, charred flavour; unlike when its cooked in an oven. Brush the grill with oil, stretch out the dough, brush the top with oil and grill over medium-low heat. Flip the dough, add your toppings and continue to grill until the crust is fully cooked. If you don’t want to make a pizza use the flattened grilled dough as a great sandwich wrap or served as a naan alongside a hearty curry.

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Cheese
One of my favorite ingredients in the world is cheese. I especially enjoy salty, dense cheeses like halloumi from Greece or provolone from Italy. These cheeses can withstand high temperatures without melting and they benefit from the heat of a grill. The flame from the barbecue adds a smokey flavour and reduces the cheese to a creamy texture. The process is very easy, just brush the cheese with oil and grill over medium high heat until golden, then flip and grill the other side.

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Fruit
I love caramelized fruit and cooking fruit on the grill does just that. Use fruit that is in season and ripe. Marinating the fruit beforehand will add some great flavour. Try soaking some peaches in mint, rum, and honey and then grill them on the barbecue. They are so versatile, serve them on their own as a side for meats, in a salad or for dessert. It’s important to get a nice char on the fruit so the sugars get a chance to caramelize and the flavours intensify.

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AndreaNicholsonChef Andrea Nicholson is the owner of Killer Condiments and was a contestant on season one of Top Chef Canada. Supporting sustainability purveyors, Canadian farmers and Ocean Wise is the central tenet behind her cuisine.