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Summer is just around the corner, and that means it's time to break out your grill! While most people know they can cook hamburgers, hotdogs, and sausages on their grills, there are dozens of culinary treats that go beyond the basics.

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Watermelon

Grilled watermelon is an excellent fruit-based dish for summer. All you need to do is cut the watermelon into slices, brush them with some oil, and grill on medium-high heat until they're cooked through (about 15 minutes). Grilling transforms the flavor of watermelon because the sugar in the fruit caramelizes. Once grilled, place the watermelon slices in ice water or serve immediately with your favorite toppings.

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Cheese

Throwing cheese directly onto the grill is a simple and fun way to liven up meals. However, it's essential to use a type of cheese that won't melt through the grates. For example, halloumi is an excellent option. It holds up to heat and retains its shape. Grilling lets you infuse fantastic smoky flavor into the soft, chewy cheese, which will make a unique and delicious addition to salads or your next charcuterie board.

Grilled haloumi cheese appetizer and gresh baguette. Panagiotis Kyriakos / Getty Images
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Pizza

The best pizza restaurants use super-hot ovens to achieve their signature flavor. If you don't have the right type of oven at home, don't worry. You can achieve the same effect by grilling your pizzas.

Place your pizza dough on a hot grill without a pizza stone, then top with sauce and cheese. Grill until the crust is crisp but not burned.

You'll be amazed at the difference in flavor and texture you can achieve with your grill.

Rough home made pizza with tomatoes, basil and salami made on grill
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Romaine Lettuce

Grilled romaine lettuce is perfect for summer salads. It works as a crouton-like topping on soup, and it can be used in place of breadsticks at your next dinner party.

After grilling, the lettuce has the same crunchy texture and smoky flavor that makes most people love the raw version so much. Grill leaves whole with cut sides down until grill marks form before flipping over to char the other side slightly. Once you've had grilled romaine lettuce, you may never go back to raw again.

Tongs turning heads of romaine lettuce on grill Lisa Romerein / Getty Images
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Avocado

Grilling avocados is a great way to transform an already delightful fruit into something even more special. The creamy texture becomes richer, and the flavor intensifies. Grilled avocado takes on some crispy edges that add another dimension to your dish.

Start by slicing your avocado in half, removing the pit (or scooping it out with a spoon), and brushing both sides with olive oil or whatever marinade you have handy. Then, grill them for two minutes per side until they show grill marks.

Once grilled, the avocado slices can be served alone or alongside grilled chicken breast or beef flank steak.

sliced fresh avocado on the grill. Health food. Barbeque avocado
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Peaches

Grilled peaches are a simple and elegant dessert to round out a summer meal.

Cut each peach in half, and remove the pit (or cut around it). Brush with oil, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or salt crystals, then grill three to four minutes per side until they're tender but still cling tightly to the peel when you pick them up. If desired, have some ice cream ready for your guests before grilling so everyone can enjoy their hot fruit topped off with cold sweetness.

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon and Honey in a Cast Iron Grill Pan rudisill / Getty Images
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Lobster

Grilling lobster can be a little tricky because the shell keeps those precious juices locked inside. But it's worth the effort for its meaty umami flavor and tasty, crispy bits of char on top.

To grill lobster, preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat. Place two lobsters in an aluminum pan with about one inch of water, cover tightly with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Be sure to flip them once halfway through the cooking time. Take them off the cooking pan before serving, so they don't overcook from the residual heat. While you let the lobsters cool so they can be handled safely, brush butter over the cut sides of lobsters until they are evenly coated.

Close-up of Canadian lobsters grilling on the barbecue. Instants / Getty Images
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Cucumbers

Grilling cucumbers is a surprisingly delicious option. When they're done, their skin will soften and char just a bit while the inside remains crisp and cool—perfect for summer eating.

Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then brush with olive oil or another fat before grilling until soft. They'll have that fantastic charred flavor without becoming too smoky.

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Oysters

Grilled oysters are a nice departure from the traditional raw oyster preparation. They can be served on the half shell as an appetizer, or you can create a main course.

The light smokiness from the grill complements the flavor of the oysters, which enhances their natural sweetness.

Grilled oysters are best served with a lemon wedge or fresh lime and some sea salt.

scallop seashell muscle mussel oyster Cooking Barbecue Fire Grill Close-up Black Food Background Vladyslav Danilin / Getty Images
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Polenta

This is a surprise to most people, but grilled polenta is excellent. All you have to do is slice off rounds of precooked and set polenta and grill for about two minutes on each side.

If you're looking for a new way to eat polenta rather than the more traditional creamy version, try grilling it.

Grilled polenta on old wooden background zeleno / Getty Images
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Pineapple

Slice up a pineapple and throw it right on the grill. When you cook pineapple on the grill, it takes away some of the acidity so that the fruit tastes sweeter.

Grilled pineapple is perfect for salsas, salads, and grilled pork. It also makes a great dessert when paired with soft cheese or ice cream.

One of the best ways to eat it is by making grilled pineapple salsa. You can serve this salsa as an appetizer to wow your guests. It's easy. Just dice up fresh jalapeno pepper, cilantro leaves, and garlic cloves, then add chopped plum tomatoes and sliced grilled pineapple. Top your salsa off with a generous helping of fresh-squeezed lime juice.

A Scene from BBQ party Kavuto / Getty Images
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Artichokes

Grilled artichokes are a great way to enjoy this unusual vegetable. It's much easier than other methods of cooking. All you have to do is toss the artichoke in olive oil and season it before grilling.

The flavor of a grilled artichoke is often described as nutty, and it's perfect for the vegetarian or vegan in your life.

Artichoke halves on a gas grill Scukrov / Getty Images
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Tomatoes

Grilling tomatoes adds a slightly smoky flavor and gives them a nice crisp texture. Slice up fresh tomatoes and put them right on the grill - cut side down - then leave them there until they soften.

Try using your blender to turn grilled tomatoes into a sauce. The next time you're craving pasta, this incredible smoky tomato sauce will be a delicious departure from the ordinary.

Grilled tomato
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Tofu

Grilling tofu is a great way to give it that extra charred flavor. Slice it into rectangles and brush some oil on the pieces before putting them on the grill. Then, cook for about ten minutes per side or until each piece is browned all over.

The flavor of tofu is much more pronounced after grilling. Tofu has the habit of being a sponge to any flavor it's marinated in, so before you grill, try sprinkling it with some herbs, soy sauce, or lemon and olive oil.

Grilled tofu is the perfect match for a fresh tomato salad.

The process of cooking frying pieces of Tofu on a special grill pan
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Radicchio

You've probably never thought of grilling radicchio, but the smoky flavor from the grill is a perfect counterpoint to radicchio's hallmark bitterness.

Slice it into quarters and throw them on your hot grill for about five minutes per side or until they're soft. Slice some fresh mozzarella cheese, dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then top with salt flakes before serving alongside the grilled radicchio wedges.

Garlic seasoned Radicchio and Sweet Corn Cobs cooking on Grill

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