THE YANKEE CHEF: Get the grill ready for dessert

Treat your guests to Grilled Nectarine Melba.
Treat your guests to Grilled Nectarine Melba. PHOTO BY JIM BAILEY

Time to fire up the grill for this sweet treat. Melba classically uses peaches but nectarines are almost the same fruit. The difference between the two? Fuzzy skin! Many authorities will have you believe that the nectarine is slightly firmer and sweeter, but this is untrue. Just be sure, when choosing either, that they have just a little give.

Grilled Nectarine Melba

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (½ pint) fresh raspberries

1 teaspoon sugar

2 nectarines, halved and pitted (See note)

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Nonstick cooking spray

1 (6-ounce) container Greek or plain yogurt

1 tablespoon honey, agave nectar or maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

Sprinkle raspberries with sugar, mash slightly and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat your grill. Spray the cut halves of nectarines with nonstick cooking spray. Place nectarines, cut-side down, directly on the hot grates of your grill. Close lid and cook 3-5 minutes, or until starting to soften and grill marks are showing. You may need to move, or turn, the nectarines a couple of times to prevent over scorching, although nice dark lines are desired.

Flip each nectarine half over, move to the cooler part of the grill, over indirect flame, and continue cooking an additional 3-5 minutes, or until tender to the touch. Remove from grill onto a platter while preparing rest of recipe.

In a bowl, whisk yogurt with honey. Mash the raspberries to desired consistency. Dollop equal amounts into each “pit-hole” of the nectarines, topped with macerated raspberries. Serve while warm.

NOTE: If the nectarines have any give to them, then the seed is easily scooped out with a spoon. If they are still firm, then they may be slightly harder to pit. Once pitted, scoop out surrounding, red flesh to create more of a pocket for the filling.

The Yankee Chef Jim Bailey is a third-generation chef, food columnist, cookbook author and food historian. Bailey lives in Maine with his wife and four children.