Fresh grilling ideas for entertaining

Posted: June 26, 2018 | Word Count: 614

When it’s time to entertain, the grill can be a host’s best friend by making it a breeze to cook and relax outside at the same time. Grilled Flank Steak with Southwest Corn and Grape Salad is guaranteed to please the senses with its tasty flavors; beautiful color medley from red and green grapes, avocado and corn; and variety of pleasing textures.

Why serve ordinary side salads when extraordinary dishes like an Italian-inspired grilled bread salad offer a fresh twist? Panzanella Salad with Grapes and Radicchio pairs grilled Italian bread and onions with a refreshing combination of radicchio, cucumber and grapes. Tossed in a zesty dressing and garnished with crumbled goat cheese, this salad adds a touch of wow to any menu.

Speaking of dressing up, remember that any color of grapes from California — red, green or black — make the perfect edible centerpiece. For a low-calorie dessert, try freezing grapes for the perfect way to end any meal.

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Grilled Flank Steak with Southwest Corn and Grape Salad

Prep/marinade time: 25 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


1 1/4 pounds trimmed flank steak

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Freshly ground pepper to taste

3/4 cup corn kernels, either freshly cut off the cob or thawed, frozen corn kernels

1/2 avocado, diced

3/4 cup red California grapes, halved

1/2 cup green California grapes, halved

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)


Pat the steak dry. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, the cumin, coriander and freshly ground pepper. Rub the mixture onto both sides of the steak; let stand for 15 minutes. Place the steak on a medium-high grill and cook it for 5 minutes on one side without moving it. Flip the steak and cook for another 4-5 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired doneness is achieved. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

While the steak is resting, combine the corn, avocado, grapes, shallot, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; mix gently. Cut the steak diagonally across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the steak slices on a serving platter or among four plates and top with corn and grape salad. Garnish with cilantro.

Panzanella Salad with Grapes and Radicchio

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: Makes 6 servings



2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 (1-inch thick) slices whole grain rustic bread

3 (1-inch thick) slices of red onion

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup red California grapes

3/4 cup green California grapes

1 cup roughly chopped radicchio

1 cup large-dice English cucumber

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, juice, zest, honey, mustard, tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat grill or grill pan to medium high. Using a brush, lightly coat the bread and onion slices with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the onion slices on the grill. Cover and cook until charred, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook, covered, for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Grill the bread for 3 minutes or until toasted. Flip and grill another minute. Set aside. Roughly chop the grilled onions and the bread into 1” square pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the onions, bread, grapes, radicchio, cucumber and pistachios. Add the salad dressing and gently toss to combine. Divide the salad into 6 equal servings and top each with goat cheese.

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