Throughout the summer months, I take most of my cooking outside, grilling up everything from the season's first squash to the hearty greens of early fall. And when I'm faced with a glut of sweet summer fruit—as I am throughout much of August, thanks to my CSA—I throw that on the grill, too.
Grilled fruits, their natural sugars intensified by the high heat, make a wonderful dessert, especially when topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But sometimes I like to keep my grilled fruits firmly in pre-dessert territory by pairing them with savory ingredients. One of my favorite appetizers—a perennial hit at August barbecues, when the stone fruit is at its peak—is grilled apricots stuffed with creamy goat cheese, drizzled with a syrupy balsamic reduction and sprinkled with crunchy chopped pistachios. As impressive-looking as the dish is, it comes together in just a few minutes, making it a perfect pre-BBQ snack. At your next backyard gathering, grill up the apricots first, assemble them, and give your guests something to nosh on as they wait for your signature glazed ribs or blue cheese-topped burgers.
P.S. It's worth noting that if you don't have a grill, you can also sear the apricot halves in a smoking-hot skillet that's very, very lightly oiled.