Summer may not have started officially, but hotter days have already made their appearance.  When the temperatures creep above 85 degrees, who wants to turn on the oven?  Cooking on the grill is an excellent way to keep the heat outside where it belongs.

As I was preparing to write this week’s column I read through my Father’s Day articles from the past ten years.  All but two of them include recipes for grilling.  Father’s Day and outdoor cooking seem to go hand-in-hand.  My late husband Bob never liked to do much in the kitchen, but he did enjoy manning the grill.  However, there were times he became distracted, and we had rather burnt offerings for dinner.

Grilling is just another way to cook for some; for others, it is more of an art form.  Truthfully, preparing food in the kitchen is the same way.  No matter how much of a grilling expert you may or may not be, this week’s recipes might be ones that could find their way onto your Father’s Day menu.


Simple Italian Grilled Chicken

Non-stick cooking spray

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 (5 to 6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened to an even thickness

Coat unheated grill grate with cooking spray.  Heat grill to medium-high (350 to 400 degrees).

Grill 5 to 8 minutes per side until juices run clear and thermometer reads 165 degrees.  Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.


Steak Marinade

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients.

In a large, shallow non-aluminum baking dish or plastic bag, pour marinade over steaks; turn to coat.  Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Remove steaks; discard marinade.  Grill or broil steak to preferred doneness.

Note: a substitute for balsamic vinegar – 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar OR apple cider vinegar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar.


Parsley Buttered Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob

 1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat gas grill on medium or charcoal grill until coals are ash white. Place all herb butter ingredients in small bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Spread each ear corn with 1 teaspoon butter mixture. Wrap each securely in heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Place onto grill. Cover; grill, turning occasionally, until corn is tender (20 to 30 minutes). Serve with additional herb butter, if desired.


Grilled Vegetable Salad

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (white or regular)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 green onions (white parts only), finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1-1/2 teaspoons molasses

1/2 pound baby carrots

1 red bell pepper, seeded

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded

2 zucchini

2 yellow squash

1 large sweet onion

Stir together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Cut carrots and next 5 ingredients into large pieces.

Add vegetables to vinegar mixture.  Let vegetables stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain vegetables, reserving vinegar mixture.  Arrange vegetables evenly in a grill basket.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350 to 400 degrees) 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning occasionally.

Toss vegetables in reserved vinegar mixture.  Serve salad immediately or cover and chill up to 8 hours.


Grilled Peppered Bread

12 (1/2-inch thick) French bread slices

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Brush both sides of bread with olive oil; sprinkle both sides evenly with pepper.  Grill bread, uncovered, over medium-high heat (350 to 400 degrees) 1 to 2 minutes per side or until lightly toasted and browned.