Spatula Diaries: The grill’s for more than just meat this Fourth of July

This summer’s ungodly heat is a great excuse to turn off the stove and fire up the grill, not just for your favorite proteins, but for all manner of other ingredients that benefit from a little smoke and char. From fresh watermelon and peaches, to potatoes, veggies and French bread, there’s very little you can’t throw on the grill. Shake things up this Fourth of July holiday with a fire-roasted menu that sings with bold flavors.


The sweet flavor of stone fruits like peaches, apricots and nectarines deepens when you give them a few minutes on the grill. Slice the fruit in half and remove the pit. Place directly onto grill gates over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove. Slice when cool. Serve on a simple salad or with ice cream.

Grilled peaches are the perfect touch for simple salad.


An impossibly sweet fruit like watermelon loves a savory counterpoint. That’s why we dig it with feta crumbles, as well as flake salt. Grill slices of watermelon over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Serve with arugula, feta and slivers of red onion.

Grilled watermelon pairs nicely with arugula and red onion. Stock photo


A good baguette or boule is an essential summer ingredient, but there’s no need to warm it in the oven. Slice into ½ inch-thick slices, brush with a little olive oil and grill until just crisp. This is the perfect addition to a charcuterie board or picnic basket, and it’s great for making bruschetta.


Corn is a wonder when grilled. Shuck, remove silks, rub some butter across the surface and wrap in foil. Grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side. Serve immediately or remove from cob for salads or tacos.

Grilled corn removed from the cob is great for salads or as an easy side.


Summer squash, peppers and eggplant are dying to be grilled, especially when it’s this hot outside. Slice squash and eggplant into thick strips. Halve peppers and remove pulp and seeds. Brush on a little olive oil. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side.

Red and green peppers, scallions, eggplant and zucchini are an essential part of your grill line-up.


Once you start grilling potatoes over charcoal (or gas), you may never go back. Par boil Yukon gold potatoes for about 12-15 minutes. Potatoes should be al dente. Piece with a fork to check consistency. Remove, cool slightly, then slice into half-inch slices. Brush with olive oil and place on grill grates. Grill for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove and top with fresh herbs and good quality olive oil and vinegar.

Grilled Yukon gold potatoes are parboiled first, then finished on the grill.