Take your backyard entertaining to the next level by cooking your entire meal on the grill, from appetizer to dessert. As barbecue season heats up, a new book out this month explores ways to get the most out of your grill. Williams Sonoma Grill School: Essential Techniques and Recipes for Great Outdoor Flavors by David Joachim and Andrew Schloss, offers ideas for charring everything from veggies to doughnuts (yes, doughnuts!). As food writer Joachim says, “Confidence is key.” Here, he shares some inventive recipes:
GRILLED EGGPLANT WITH TAHINI & POMEGRANATE
½ cup tahini
½ cup lukewarm water, plus more as needed
1 large clove garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
4 Japanese eggplants
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat (400°F to 450°F).
- In a food processor, combine the tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt and the cumin, and process until a very smooth purée forms, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add more water and lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time if needed to make a thick, yet pourable sauce.
- Starting at the blossom end, cut each eggplant lengthwise into ¼- to ½-inch thick slices, cutting all the way down into the stem end but not through it, so the slices can be fanned out from the stem. Place the eggplants on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the inner and outer sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and then sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
- Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Using tongs, fan out the eggplants on the grate and cook, turning once, until tender and grill marked, 3 to 4 minutes per side (see Bonus Tip below). The eggplants will fan out more easily as they cook and soften. Remove the eggplants from the grill and set aside.
- Spread a generous amount of the tahini sauce on the bottom of a platter. Arrange the fanned eggplants over the sauce and drizzle with a little more sauce. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and serve with the remaining sauce.
For deeper grill marks, top the fanned-out eggplants with a heavy cast-iron or other heavy pan as they cook. For a spicy option, dust the grilled eggplant with ground Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper. For even more flavor, sprinkle the grilled eggplants with za’atar, a traditional spice mix. To make, blend together 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon ground sumac, ¾ teaspoon dried lemon peel, ¾ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon dried savory, ½ teaspoon dried marjoram and ½ teaspoon sea salt.
The tahini sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Drizzle any extra sauce on grilled fish, lamb or vegetables.
GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD WITH ANCHOVY-MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
6 anchovy fillets, minced
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 large egg yolk
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 heads romaine lettuce, loose leaves removed and each head cut lengthwise into quarters
1 ounce Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon flake sea salt such as Maldon
- Heat the grill to medium indirect heat (300°–350°F).
- In a salad bowl, using the back of a fork, mash together the garlic and anchovy fillets into a paste. Whisk in the mustard and egg yolk and then whisk in ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the oil a little at a time until a thick sauce forms. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with fine sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Coat the romaine quarters with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Put them on the grate directly over the fire and grill, turning once, just until grill marked, about 20 seconds per side. Using tongs, transfer the lettuce away from the fire. Paint with half of the vinaigrette, getting the dressing down in between the leaves; sprinkle with half of the cheese. Cover the grill and cook until the cheese just starts to melt and the ends of the lettuce wedges wilt, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the romaine to a platter. Dress with the remaining vinaigrette, a scattering of the remaining cheese, and a sprinkle of flake salt.
This is a recipe where the kind of salt you use can make a big difference. Dry, crunchy flake salts are our favorite, but you don’t need to stop with Maldon. The sweet, oaky smoke of Halen Môn Gold smoked salt from Scotland is amazing; sale dolce di Cervia from Italy gives a lively crunchiness; and deep, dark alder smoked salt from the Pacific Northwest intensifies the flavor of the grill that is at the heart of this preparation. For a more assertive vegetable and a more dynamic color contrast, substitute a large head of radicchio for one of the romaine heads.
GARLIC-CRUSTED T-BONE WITH GORGONZOLA BUTTER
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, preferably sel gris
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 T-bone or porterhouse steak, 2½ to 3 pounds and at least 2 inches thick
2 large handfuls wood chips or chunks
½ cup Gorgonzola Butter (see recipe)
- In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat just until warm. Drop in the garlic; the oil should be hot enough to make the garlic bubble but not hot enough to brown it. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Rub the cooled garlic oil evenly over the steak. Let the steak rest for 1 hour while the grill heats.
- Heat the grill for high indirect heat (400°F to 450°F). If using charcoal, wrap the wood chips in a perforated aluminum foil packet and place on the hot coals, or place the wood chunks directly on the coals. If using a gas grill, wrap the chips in a perforated foil packet, and put the packet directly over one of the gas burners under the cooking grate. You can also use a smoker box if your grill has one.
- Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Put the steak on the grate directly over the fire, cover the grill, and cook, turning once, until darkly crusted on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Move the steak away from the fire, cover the grill, and cook for 6 to 12 minutes for medium-rare to medium-done. Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 to 8 minutes.
- While the steak is resting, make the butter.
- Carve the steak and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Top each portion with ¼ of the butter.
Most supermarkets and some butcher shops don’t regularly cut steaks this thick. Call the meat department or your butcher ahead of time to order it. On this steak, the T-shaped bone separates the smaller and more tender tenderloin (or fillet) from the larger and slightly tougher top loin (strip). To arrive at 4 servings, you have two options: you can cut the 2 pieces away from the bone, cut each piece into 4 pieces, and serve each guest a piece of tenderloin and a piece of top loin, or you can cut all of the meat into slices ½ inch thick and serve each guest a combination of tenderloin and top loin slices. The T-bone itself is up for grabs.
Makes ½ cup
1 small clove garlic, minced
3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, without rind
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together the garlic, cheese, butter and oil until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
GRILLED S’MORES DOUGHNUTS
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups half-and-half
1 ½ teaspoons unsalted butter
8 marshmallows or 32 mini marshmallows
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 glazed doughnuts, split horizontally
Cooking spray oil for doughnuts
- Heat the grill for medium-low direct heat (300°F to 350°F).
- In a large, heavy saucepan, stir together the cocoa powder, brown sugar and salt. Add the half-and-half and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring, until lightly thickened and very smooth, about 2 minutes. Keep warm.
- In a small saucepan, combine the butter and marshmallows over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat.
- Sandwich a heaping spoonful of the marshmallow goo between the halves of each doughnut. Coat the doughnuts on both sides with cooking spray oil.
- Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Put the doughnuts on the grate and cook, turning once, until the doughnuts are browned, about 40 seconds per side.
- Transfer doughnuts to individual plates. Serve with the chocolate sauce for dunking.