July 30th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Summer. The grill. Burgers. Steaks. Hot dogs.


As great as those staples of summer grilling are, it’s the very best time of the year to eat your vegetables. And so many of them are even better after spending a little time over fire.

Who would be the best person to get tips for grilling vegetables from? A ton of great chefs are big into vegetables these days, but I went to Rich Landau, chef/owner of Vedge, Philadelphia’s sensational vegetable restaurant. Landau is so good that the "The Tonight Show" bandleader Questlove asked for his recipe for pastrami-spiced beets. (“This dish makes me believe in beets,” Questlove said.)

Here are Landau’s excellent tips for prime-time summer produce, like his very favorite way to grill corn. Now, go fall in love with smoky carrot dogs and have a happy summer!


It’s the classic, and so easy. Try putting the corn on the grill still in its husk; the kernels steam inside the husk so they come out juicy and smoky. Plus, the heat will melt the silk so the ears are easy to shuck. Lose the butter and go for a nice, bright chimichurri (the bright green South American herb sauce), or olive oil, flaky salt and chile flakes.

My favorite "trendy" vegetable is so good on the grill, but it has to be pre-roasted or blanched for a few minutes first. Slice the cauliflower head, stem-side down, to make “steaks,” then char them. Give them a drizzle of olive oil and lemon when they come off the grill.

Sweet potatoes
This is classic Chinese street food: Wrap the potatoes in foil and put them right on the grill for 20 minutes. Unwrap them, and char the skin until it’s almost black. The flavor of the flesh is sweet and smoky - it needs nothing else.

Summer squash
Grilled zucchini is a thing of beauty, but try making “ash” with it. Wrap a whole zucchini in foil, throw in a garlic clove and some cumin seeds. Heat up your grill until blazing hot, then kill the heat, put the foil-wrapped zucchini right on the coals and let it sit for about 25 to 30 minutes. Unwrap and sprinkle with salt and pepper; the result is a creamy, rich flavor that you’ve never tasted before. This method works well with leeks, too, although they take longer to cook.

Let’s make carrot "dogs" for a change: Pre-roast carrots, sprinkled with Cajun spices and olive oil, in the oven for 10 minutes. Then, grill the carrots and eat them just like hot dogs (buns optional). For a great extra effect, throw some wood chips on your coals to get that great smoky flavor into the carrots.

Fennel is such an underrated grilling vegetable. Char it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Let it cool, then toss it with your finest chopped tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, red onion, olives and grilled bread for a mind-blowing panzanella (bread salad).

Portobello mushrooms
You might think you’ve time traveled back to 1995, but hey, that was a good year, and portobellos on the grill are still amazing even if they’ve become a vegetarian cliché. Mix oil with a little balsamic vinegar and tamari (a type of soy sauce) and add a generous pinch of ground pepper. Brush the marinade on the mushrooms right before grilling. Let the mushrooms rest for a few minutes before serving (like steak, vegetables need to rest too!).

Brussels sprouts
First, lightly boil your Brussels sprouts. Finish them on the grill so they have a deep, delicious char. If they’re big enough, they’ll go right on the grill; if they’re small, slide them onto a skewer. Serve these great grilled sprouts hot or cold with a mustard vinaigrette.

More from Food & Wine:
33 Grilled Vegetable Recipes
Delicious Grilled Corn
Vegetarian Grilling Recipes
Fantastic Cocktails for Grilling
Ultimate Summer Vegetable Recipes

Plus - All of Eatocracy's grilling coverage

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Grilling

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. TheHealthyVeggie

    I put honey on my corn when I BBQ it. So delicious!

    August 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
  2. Kyouko Tachibana

    I like how they suggest to grill the corn with the husk on, but the husk is off in all of their stock pictures. =P

    August 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
  3. mickmastergeneral

    Two parts olive oil...two parts soy sauce...one part vinegar. Brush it onto red peppers, broccoli, zucchini, or thick onion slices. For asparagus, just olive oil and lemon juice. Or get yourself some snap peas and toss them in some olive oil with a little sesame oil.

    August 2, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
    • buick

      yummm yummmmm

      August 4, 2014 at 8:44 am |
  4. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    As with RC, grilled asparagus is great. Also try grilled brussel sprouts.

    August 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
  5. KieranH

    Y'all know, that grilling dark green vegetation and allowing any char on it whatsoever, is producing nitrates. Oh no!

    August 2, 2014 at 7:53 am |
  6. wifeslifeblog

    I recently saw some Leeks being grilled on TV. It looked intriguing along side some grilled lemon which was then drizzled all over the leek.

    August 2, 2014 at 12:12 am |
  7. Bnode

    I like to cube red, yellow and green peppers and onions and asparagus.
    Toss it in salt, pepper and olive oil.
    Then I grill the whole mess in a bbq wok (a wok full of holes).
    It tastes a lot better than it's simplicity suggests.

    August 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      This is also great. Kosher salt and cracked pepper, though.

      August 2, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
  8. Cooking Harmony

    Reblogged this on Cooking Harmony and commented:
    The sun is finally shining and I love grilled vegetables so I will try some of those healthy ways to grill my vegetables tonight. The portobello mushrooms and the fennel are just screaming at me. ;-)

    July 31, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • Fungus Amungus

      Probably from all that heat.

      August 1, 2014 at 6:45 am |
      • Bugsy

        I've got limp carrots,Now what do I do ?

        August 1, 2014 at 6:59 am |
        • Daffy

          Carrot implants work wonders. So does looking at carrot pictures in er0tic poses.

          August 1, 2014 at 7:11 am |
        • Peace

          add some thing blue .. like a blue berry rub...

          August 1, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Bnode


          August 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          If this is a reference to Al Capone and his syphilis, I congratulate you on your history knowledge.

          August 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
  9. Ally

    I LOVE grilling vegetables! And I have tried every suggestion in the article except the summer squash "ash". Sounds delicious and it will be on my menu this weekend.

    July 30, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
  10. RC

    One of my absolute favorites is grilled asparagus. It brings out a real nutty flavor. I usually use a grilling basket so they don't fall through.

    July 30, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  11. brincs

    I have tried grilling onions to great results on the barbecue. Just peel them, half them and on the grill they go until cooked. When ready season and add some olive oil. Simply divine.

    July 30, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
  12. ∞ Weeds ∞

    I know some people who like to sprinkle just Old Bay on their roasted corn. This is popular at ocean side.
    If portobello mushrooms are a vegetarian cliché, then steak is a herbivore cliché. They both go so good together in many ways. Put a plate of crab stuffed portobellos that are straight off the fire and be quick to grab one for yourself because they disappear fast.
    Carrot dogs? What's up with that, doc? I'll put that on my "I'll try it if you make it" list. I'm not sure about limp carrots except in the fall and winter. Some people probably abhor a limp carrot. Half the fun of eating carrots is that satisfying and sometimes (in the office) obnoxious crunch.

    July 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
    • ∞ Weeds ∞

      err correction, herbivore should be carnivore.

      July 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • AleeD®

      Old Bay on just about anything is great. Limp carrots? Child please!
      Grilled tomatoes are awesome. Cut 'em in half, sprinkle on some parmesan, close the lid and let 'em cook 'til the cheese juuust melts & serve. Mmmm.

      July 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • Katie

      Forget salt and butter – rub a lime segment on the roasted corn. SO good!!

      July 31, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
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