Charring fresh produce brings out the best in smoky, caramelized, slightly bitter flavors. Nearly all vegetables do well on on the grill, needing only a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. And try fruits cooked over fire, where juices get syrupy and even sweeter. Use a charcoal or wood fire.
Some tips for grilling vegetables
• No charcoal or wood-burning grill? Try your broiler.
• Brush produce lightly with vegetable oil or olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling.
• Use a grill basket for small vegetables.
• Keep an eye on what you’re grilling. You want tasty bits of char, not burning. But veggies shouldn’t be raw, either.
• Tomatoes and peppers char quickly over fire. When their skin is charred, place in a paper bag and close the top, or place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Peel off skins when they’re cool enough to touch.
What can you grill? Just about anything!
• Cabbage, fennel, leeks, onions, Brussels sprouts
• Greens: kale, chard, romaine lettuce, radicchio, bok choy
• Roots and tubers: potatoes, carrots, beets. Parboil first.
• Peppers, zucchini and summer squash, broccoli
• Tomatoes, corn, Portobello mushrooms
• Eggplant: Salt first and don’t undercook.
• Mango, pineapple
• Stone fruits, like peaches, nectarines, plums
• Watermelon, avocado