What’s influencing popular flavors on the grill this season? Big spice profiles, regional American twists, adventurous global inspirations and new tart-sweet combinations will be stoking the fires for a delicious grilling season–as shown in the new McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry’s Flavor Forecast 2011: Grilling Edition.

An expanded arsenal of ingredients, techniques and tools has become the modern grill master’s badge of honor. According to a 2010 segmentation study titled “Grilling Attitude and Usage,” conducted by deKadt Marketing and Research Inc., as the art of grilling continues to evolve, 73 percent of today’s grillers say they are looking for the latest trends and techniques. In fact, three quarters of them like to layer flavors and ingredients.

“We see the growing obsession with bolder and more exciting tastes reach a fever pitch during grilling season,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “There’s a real willingness to try new flavors and preparations. For example, now that grillers are confident in a ‘basic’ grilled steak, they’re adding big flavor with a zesty balsamic marinade and serving it sliced over a colorful salad, with a sweet and tangy blueberry dressing.”

For more recipes, tips and trend information visit www.flavorforecast.com.

Balsamic Steak Salad with Blueberry Dressing
Prep time: 15 minutes, marinate time: 30 minutes, cook time: 16 minutes, makes: 4 servings

1 1/2 cups–blueberries, divided
1/2 cup–Lawry’s Balsamic Herb Marinade, divided
2 tablespoons–packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons–water
1 tablespoon–lemon juice
1 pound–skirt steak
1 package–(5 ounces) mixed salad greens
1/2 cup–crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup–thinly sliced red onion

Place 3/4 cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons marinade, sugar, water and lemon juice in food processor. Cover. Process until smooth. Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve.

Place steak in large re-sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add 1/4 cup of remaining marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove steak from marinade.

Discard any remaining marinade.

Grill steak over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness, brushing with remaining 2 tablespoons marinade. Cut steak into thin slices.

Divide salad greens evenly among 4 serving plates. Top each with steak slices. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup blueberries, feta and onion. Serve with dressing.

Nutrition Information per serving: calories 313, Fat 13g, protein 26g, carbohydrates 23g, cholesterol 59mg, sodium 861mg, Fiber 3g