Great grilling recipes for Memorial Day weekend


by KING 5 News

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Updated Friday, May 24 at 1:41 PM

Many people will be firing up the grill this weekend. But grilling isn't just about burgers, steaks and hot dogs. Chefs with the Blue Ribbon Culinary Center in Seattle share some ideas and inspiration for indoor and outdoor grill.

Grilled Red Potato Salad with Watercress and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Recipe by Blue Ribbon Cooking School

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • ¼ cup sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 12 medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled (about 2 3/4 pounds)
  • Additional olive oil for brushing potatoes
  • 2 bunches delicate watercress, stems trimmed or 1 bunch hearty watercress, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped


  1. Combine vinegar, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Stir in blue cheese. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 16 minutes. Drain; cool completely.
  3. While potatoes are cooling, heat grill to medium high heat.
  4. Once potatoes are cool, slice into ¼ - to ½ -inch-thick rounds. Brush rounds on both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill potatoes until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Gently toss grilled potatoes in a large bowl with watercress, green onions and vinaigrette.  Serve. 

Grilled Salmon en Papillote Banana Leaves with Pineapple Salsa
Recipe by Blue Ribbon Cooking School

“En Papillote” is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked or grilled. The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper, but other material  such as banana leaves, a paper bag or foil may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food and when using banana leaves they also infuse a subtle flavor into the food.

Makes 2 servings

  • 2 six ounces salmon fillet (or your favorite fish), skin removed
  • 2 banana leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ plantain, medium, peeled and julienned
  • 1 carrot, medium, peeled and julienned
  • ½ zucchini, medium, julienned
  • 1 tomato, medium, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple, fresh or canned, diced
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Two 24-inch lengths kitchen string
  • Pineapple salsa (recipe below)
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs for garnish 
  1. Heat grill to medium heat with the lid down.  Rinse the salmon fillets in cold water and pat dry.
  2. Using scissors, remove the tough center stems from the banana leaves. Then run the leaf quickly over a flame to soften it and make it more pliable. When it changes from dull to shiny, it is likely soft enough.
  3. On a clean dry work surface, fold a piece of banana leaf about 16-inches long in half.  Repeat with another piece of banana leaf.  Place the packages on a baking sheet.  Brush entire surface of each package with olive oil.
  4. On the right half of each leaf, place half of the plantains and one-quarter of the carrots, zucchini and tomato.  Place salmon fillets on top of the vegetables and brush with hoisin sauce.
  5. Sprinkle diced pineapple equally over each fillet. Lay the remaining julienned vegetables over the fillets.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Fold the short edge of the banana leaf nearest you over the food. Fold the long sides of the banana leaf toward the center. Then keep folding away from you into a packet shape. Tie each package in both directions with a 24-inch piece of kitchen string. Set them on baking sheet to transport to grill.
  7. Brush the outside of the leaves with melted butter.  Place the pouches on the grill and cook until the fish is cooked through, about 6 minutes on each side. After about 12 minutes, remove the packet from the grill to a place where you can safely and gently open enough to test the fish for doneness. The fish should flake easy with a fork and have an opaque appearance through to the center. If the fish isn't done, secure the package and return to the grill.
  8. Cut string before serving and transfer packages to plates. The banana leaves are inedible, but they make a nice presentation. Serve with pineapple salsa, garnished with thyme sprigs.


Pineapple Salsa

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 cup pineapple, fresh, frozen or canned, diced
  • ½ cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well.  Chill.  Serve with papillotes.

Grilled Dessert Pizza
Recipe by Blue Ribbon Cooking School

Dessert pizzas are a unique and delicious summertime treat.  Fresh ripe summer fruit paired with cheese are a perfect combination.  You’re actually only limited by your imagination when creating these.  If you find it difficult to think outside of the box, ask the kids what they’d like for a dessert pizza.  They’ll open up vast new vistas to tantalize your taste buds. Ice cream is often a great accompaniment. Note that these pizzas are grilled in a fairly short time so any toppings should be cooked completely or not need to be cooked.


  • 1 ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 19 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Some Topping Ideas:

  • Thinly sliced fresh fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears, pineapples, melons, mango, figs, etc.)
  • Cheeses such as Mascarpone, Goat, Brie, Blue, Ricotta or Ricotta salata, cream cheese
  • Bacon or Proscuitto
  • Sour cream or Crème fraiche
  • Fresh chopped herbs
  • Nutella or Peanut butter

Some Toppings to Drizzle on Finished Pizza:

  • Reduced balsamic vinegar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Fresh lime juice


  1. In a heavy mixer bowl, place the lukewarm water, sugar and yeast.  Add 6 ounces flour and mix.  Add olive oil.  Add the remaining flour (13 ounces.) and salt and mix for 5 minutes (by hand 15 to 20 minutes).
  2. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and let it rise until it double in volume.
  3. Punch down and let it rise again until almost doubled.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 6 to 8 portions.
  5. Prepare the grill to medium heat and allow to remain at medium heat for at least 10 minutes.
  6. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out very thinly, about 1/8-inch thick.

Note:  Dough may be made in advance, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.  It must be brought to room temperature before you can roll it out.


  1. Brush grill with olive oil.
  2. Grill the rolled out pizza dough with cover closed for 1 minute or until it gets grill marked slightly. Flip it over with a spatula. If desired, brush the grill marked side with butter and sprinkle with a topping suitable for the ingredients you’ll be placing on top. (Cinnamon and sugar, brown sugar, Parmesan cheese or untoasted ground nuts are good options for a first layer that pair well with butter.)
  3. Close lid and grill for one minute.  Place additional toppings on pizza and grill with lid closed until heated through, or cheese melts (if using), 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer the grilled pizza to a board or baking sheet and, if using, complete topping pizza with any ingredients you may not want heated, such as fresh arugula, freshly chopped herbs or sour cream.
  5. Slice and serve.

Grilled Panzanella Salad with Garden Fresh Summer Vegetables
Recipe by Blue Ribbon Cooking School
Makes 8 servings


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 1/2 pounds red bell peppers (about 3 large), cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 12- to 14-ounce loaf of ciabatta, some crust trimmed to expose bread, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, cut into thirds
  • 1 pound tomatoes, cored, cut into 3/4-inch dice, juices reserved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as chives, basil, oregano, and tarragon)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers


Whisk fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar and lemon peel in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Prepare grill to medium heat. Brush both sides of bell peppers, squash, onion, and bread slices lightly with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill vegetables until tender and brown, about 4 minutes per side for peppers and squash and 3 minutes per side for onion. Set aside.
  3. Grill bread until browned and crisp, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Cool slightly. Rub bread with cut sides of garlic. Tear bread into 3/4-inch pieces; place in very large bowl
  4. Cut grilled vegetables into 1-inch pieces; add to bread in bowl.
  5. Add dressing, tomatoes with juices, parsley, assorted fresh herbs and capers to salad and toss. Allow to stand 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.