Just when I thought we were getting an early summer, it started to rain, and rain, and rain a little more. Which is great! Because things around here are actually green now instead of that lovely yellow/grey decay color I seem to have grown accustom to….but all this rain kind of puts a damper on unleashing the BBQ in all its fiery glory. I’ve been totally in a grilling mood lately, which is odd because I’m pretty much the most uncreative person when it comes to thinking of things to grill. My fun grilling foods consist of store bought veggie burgers, hotdogs and….ahhhh..nope, I’ve got nothing…maybe asparagus? Ok, I have done kabobs, but I always forget to marinate them so they never turn out that very good. So to expand my grilling repertoire, last weekend I decided to FINALLY try grilling fruit. Yes, I know, I can’t believe I’ve never done this before either.
Now don’t start thinking that I’m totally creepin’ under a rock, I have tasted grilled fruit before…just at other people’s houses. I could have just cut some pineapple slices and chucked them on the grill but to make things a little exciting fun amusing less boring, I cut up a bunch of chunks and stuck them onto skewers, because who doesn’t like eating things off sticks? I sure as hell don’t! I am a total food on stick advocate! I mean come on, what other food can make a 30 year feel like a 5 year old again? Yup, that’s right, food on sticks. All the best foods come on sticks, candied apples, corndogs, cotton candy, popsicles….you see what I’m getting at here.
Now you can’t have grilled fruit on a stick unless you’ve got some dip to go along with it. The idea of doing something sweet with some vegan ricotta has been on my mind for months. So I tried my best to implement the flavor…does it taste like ricotta? Beats me. What you can taste is some uber tasty mango, kick ass toasted coconut and a little tang….and by tang I don’t mean that gross ass orange liquid crap we used to drink when we were kids.
Now to make the dip taste as good as its supposed to taste, you really need to find a good quality mango, no grabbing some under ripe out of season hockey-puck-like-mango from the food store, organic is best (if you can) and make sure it’s juicy and full of flavour otherwise your dip will make you one sad panda.
Oh and of course there’s rum involved don’t worry, my goal was not to get you slammed at brunch (unless you’re into that?), it’s just enough to give that fruit a little somethin’ somethin’. If you want more of a punch in the face of rum flavor, brush the kaybobs and let them soak for a while before grilling. Not that I’m encouraging getting drunk at breakfast or anything…on another note, these would make a pretty rad dessert at a BBQ too!
GRILLED FRUIT KABOBS WITH MANGO COCONUT RICOTTA DIP
MAKES 4 KABOBS
MANGO COCOUNT RICOTTA INGREDIENTS
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for one hour or up to overnight
- 1 cup ripe mango, chopped
- 6 ounces firm tofu, rinsed, drained and pressed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
- 4 wooden or metal skewers
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 9 fresh pineapple chunks
- 9 fresh strawberries, stems removed
- 9 fresh cantaloupe chunks
- 9 fresh banana chunks (about 2 bananas)
If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes.
Place cashews, mango, tofu lemon juice, maca powder, vanilla, milk and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetener. Place in a bowl and mix in coconut. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour to left the flavors meld.
Preheat a bbq grill or electric grill to medium heat. Mix together the cinnamon, oil and rum.
Put the fruit on the skewers, alternating as you go. Brush the skewers with the rum mixture and place on the grill. Cook until marked and caramelized (about 3 to 4 minutes), turn and cook the other side.
Serve the kabobs along with the dip and an extra sprinkling of toasted coconut.