Grilling With Summer Flavors

It's summer and the markets are bursting with colorful summer fruits and vegetables: everything from red bell peppers and crisp asparagus to hot jalapeño chilies and juicy pineapples. But there's nothing like the exotic, luscious flavor of mango to bring the sunny taste of the tropics direct to your tabletop. It's no wonder mangos are one of the world's most popular fruits.

Take advantage of the summer grilling season by using kosher salt to bring out the natural, tantalizing flavors of fruits and vegetables. In the following recipe-Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt's unique structure-which makes it considerably lighter than table salt-allows it to adhere well to the meat while heightening the sumptuous, good-for-you taste of the mango chutney in this spicy/sweet ingredient combination.

Mango Chutney Chops

With Asparagus

1 red bell pepper

4 mangos peeled, pitted and sliced

10 fresh pineapple chunks (about 1 inch) with 2 tablespoons juice

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeño chili, seeded and chopped

8 boneless pork chops (1/2- to 3/4-inch thick)

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

1. Chop one-half of red pepper, cut remaining half into thin strips for garnish and set aside. In large skillet, combine mangos, chopped pepper, pineapple, brown sugar, salt, vinegar, ginger root and chili. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, grill or broil pork chops over medium-high heat, or 4 to 6 inches from broiler, for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until internal temperature is 165º F. Grill asparagus 4 to 7 minutes or until tender-crisp (or steam with 1/4 cup water in covered skillet for 4 to 7 minutes or just until tender).

3. Serve pork chops and asparagus topped with mango chutney and garnished with reserved red pepper strips.

8 servings

Now that grilling season is in full swing, here are a few tips for grilling with summer fruits and vegetables.

Summer Grilling Tips

Be organized-Have everything you need at grill side before you start; measure ingredients ahead of time; do any necessary chopping and slicing; and have a serving plate at the ready.

Use extra fruits and veggies -In addition to your entrée, create inventive side dishes using fruits or veggies you have on hand. Wrap in aluminum foil or use skewers of chunked pineapple, mangos, yellow squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes or eggplant. Brush with olive oil, season with Diamond Crystal kosher salt and grill along with the rest of your meal.

Keep it clean-There's nothing less appetizing than grilling on dirty, old bits of burnt food stuck to the grate.

Keep it lubricated-Always oil the grate before placing the food on it.

Turn, don't stab-Use tongs or a spatula. A fork will drain flavor-rich juices.

Keep it covered-Keep the grill covered and resist the temptation to peek.

Give foods a rest-Nearly everything you grill will taste better and be juicier if you let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

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About The Author, Wendy Mitchell
Sources: Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt; The National Mango Board;;