Burning dinner has been the scourge of the home cook since the discovery of fire, but there are some vegetables that actually benefit from a little — OK, a lot — of char.
Photo by woodleywonderworks.
Not only does a little burn add great grilled flavour on the outside, it can transform the flesh of certain vegetables into smokier, smoother, more luscious versions of themselves. The Kitchn has a full list of suggestions in the link below, but here are a few of my favourites.
- Capsicums: I like to roast these over an open flame (or grill, or broil) until every last bit of that skin is black, then peel off the burnt outside to reveal a super sweet, velvety inside that’s great pureed into soup, on pizza or as an addition to a cheese or charcuterie plate.
- Brussels sprouts: If you’ve only ever had boiled Brussels sprouts, you probably aren’t overly fond of them, but roasting them until the outside leaves turn crispy and black takes them from “bland and blech” to “I will eat these forever” real quick.
- Tomatoes: The tomato’s highest calling is the simple and noble tomato sandwich, but blistered, blackened tomatoes yearn to be tossed in a simple pasta, served alongside fish or made into a smoky bruschetta. Just skewer, brush ’em with a bit of olive oil and grill.
- Cos lettuce: Caesar salads are awesome, but Caesar salads made with charred, smoky cos lettuce are even better. Brush a whole heart of the stuff with some olive oil and grill until there’s a good bit of char on there.
In fact, I have a hard time thinking of many vegetables that don’t benefit from the magic that is a good bit of blistering heat. I was about to say “carrots” but then I remembered that grilled carrots are actually amazing.
12 Vegetables That You Should Really Burn [The Kitchn]