Oh happy, smoky, bring-out-the-giant-tongs, never-leave-our-backyards day: Grilling season is here again. And though we love all the familiar rituals and simple pleasures of cooking outside, we’re always open to learning a few new good tricks. Like how to grill a better burger—by keeping the meat itself off the grates. Or how a bit of gentle charcoal heat (and a bunch of compound butters and homemade chile sauce) can bring a seafood tower to new heights.
“Grilling is convivial,” notes Edi Frauneder of New York’s Edi & the Wolf. “There’s something about this act of coming together over an open flame that just says vacation.” Frauneder throws together a casually brilliant, crowd-pleasing, open-faced assemblage of pickled peaches and plums with burrata and arugula on top of homemade flatbread. It’s a reminder that cooking with fire isn’t just about big cuts of meat (though we’ve got ideas for that too) or who’s got the bigger flames. Frauneder’s dish is subtle, smoky, sweet, and tart. And like the rest of these inspired takes on summer grilling, it’s exactly what we want to be cooking and eating right now.