Add Variety and Flavor with Charred Vegetables

A childhood memory that just about everyone has in common is, sitting around the dinner table and dad or mom telling us to “eat our vegetables.” It was such a painful experience, the vegetables were either crunchy or mushy and they just didn’t taste good.  That was then and like yourself, vegetables have come a long way since the days of the threats from mom or dad. Vegetables are used in a variety of ways alongside any dish, and they can be actually tasty.  That’s right, I said vegetables and tasty in the same sentence.  One of the best ways to add flavors to a dish is adding charred vegetables; you can do this by either grilling or roasting your vegetables. 

Vegetables: Perfect for Grilling

Your grill isn’t just for meat anymore. Any vegetable can be grilled and be healthy and tasty. Grilling your vegetables until they have a nice black char around the outside will add a great smoky flavor to any dish.  Any vegetable will do, but some of the best are: corn-on-the-cob, onions, peppers, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and potatoes. There are several ways to create your perfect charred vegetables on the grill.  Either set them straight on the grill carefully monitoring the temperature.  You can also use a grill basket, and just put all the veggies together.  Either way, when charred properly, your vegetables will add a rich flavor to your meal.

Roasting Vegetables for Char and Flavor

When you are using vegetables in sauces it’s best to roast your vegetables in an oven to create the charred flavor.  The classic example of this are roasted red peppers, they add a flavor that instantly raises the level of your sauce.  It’s easy to do, simply set a whole pepper on a sheet and set your oven on broil and cook it until it’s charred black on all sides.  Once the skin is blackened, put the peppers in a paper back or container and let them steam for a few minutes. This step will allow you to easily pull the charred skin away from the pepper’s flesh (discard the blackened skin of the peppers).  Like on the grill, your sauce will have a slightly rich, smoky flavor that makes it so much more than your average sauce.
If you want to add depth to any dish, just add charred vegetables and the flavors will come alive.  With the right grilling and roasting technique you can say goodbye to the vegetables you used to hate and hello to a wonderful new healthy and delicious compliment to any recipe.
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