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Sweeter Nectarines On The Grill

Grilling fresh fruits intensifies their flavors, caramelizing their sugars and turning their flesh soft, lush, and warm.

So on Thursday, The Early Show's resident chef Bobby Flay shows different ways to use grilled nectarines.

The following are recipes from his latest cookbook, "Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill":

Grilled Nectarine & Green Onion Relish

Ingredients:
4 ripe nectarines, halved and pitted
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Method:

  • Preheat grill. Brush cut side of nectarines with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown, about 2 minutes…Turn over and continue grilling until just cooked through…Remove from the grill and cut into cubes. Place nectarines and remaining ingredients in a bowl and gently mix until combined.

Grilled Nectarine & Blue Cheese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:
3 cups moderately priced balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Method:
Place vinegar in a nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium high heat until reduced to 3/4 cup, whisk in the honey and let cool to room temperature.

Ingredients For Salad:

4 ripe nectarines, halved and pitted
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 pound micro greens
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Micro greens
1/4 pound cabrales blue cheese, crumbled

Method:

  1. Preheat grill. Brush cut side of nectarines with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown, about 2 minutes…Turn over and continue grilling until just cooked through.
  2. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl, add the micro greens and toss to coat…Place a small amount of the greens in the center of each nectarine and top with some of the crumbled blue cheese. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

Grilled Nectarines with Maple Crème Fraiche

Ingredients:
4 ripe nectarines, halved and pitted
Canola oil
1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Fresh mint, optional
Fresh raspberries and blackberries, optional

Method:

  1. Preheat grill. Brush cut side of nectarines with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown, about 2 minutes…Turn over and continue grilling until just cooked through.
  2. Whisk together crème fraiche and maple syrup, place a large dollop in the center of each nectarine half. Garnish with fresh mint and berries, if desired.

White Nectarine Bellini
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
2 very ripe white nectarines, pitted and chopped
12 ounces Proseco sparkling wine, chilled
Nectarine wedges, for garnish

Method:

  • Place nectarines in a blender and blend until smooth. Place a few tablespoons of the puree in a champagne flute, fill to the top with the Proseco and stir to combine…Garnish with a nectarine wedge.

Not all fruits grill equally, which is something you'll soon discover when you begin experimenting.

Watery fruits, such as strawberries and watermelon, can't take much heat, lest they disintegrate in drips over the coals (or gas-driven flames). For tender fruits such as these, keep them on the grate only long enough to earn their stripes.

Firm fruits like apples, pears and pineapple are delicious and easy to grill. Softer fruits like mango, papaya, peaches and nectarines require special attention since they cook quickly, and if overcooked, will reduce to a mush. These fruits need only to be heated and not "cooked."

Many fruits, including bananas, pineapples, peaches, plums, apples, and pears can be cut in half, pitted or cored, and grilled. Oranges and other juicy fruits do best cut into thick slices. In general, leaving the skin or peel on the fruit helps it maintain its structural integrity as it cooks. The same is true for other berries, which are probably best skewered or enclosed in a basket to prevent them from being lost to the coals.

Grilling fruit over a gas grill is easy and convenient, but grilling fruit over a charcoal grill will add additional flavor that you can't achieve with gas. Choose fruit that is barely ripe - this will make it easier to handle on the grill and you won't compromise any flavor. If you're making kebabs, try threading two skewers through the fruit to prevent the fruit from spinning.

To add flavor, try rubbing spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and/or allspice on the fruit. You can also experiment with various marinades. Marinate fruit in fruit juices or brandy or rum. The taste will amaze you!

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