Grilled Vegetables for Maximum Summer Whimsy
HomeHome > Blog > Grilled Vegetables for Maximum Summer Whimsy

Grilled Vegetables for Maximum Summer Whimsy

Sep 15, 2023



Try these three easy techniques to get more from your market haul.

By Tanya Sichynsky

If I were to concoct an eau de summer, there are a few must-hit notes: spray-on sunscreen, post-storm petrichor and the sweet smokiness of just-grilled vegetables.

But since I have no more than a small fire escape to call outdoor space, my open-air grilling aspirations are limited by building codes and a vigilant super. I fret not. Using my cast-iron grill pan, I can still achieve those coveted burnished hatch marks when the urge for charred zucchini or eggplant strikes.

Whatever your own grilling setup might be — a decked-out outdoor island or a portable camping grill — a platter of grilled vegetables can imbue the simplest of dinners with the sort of summer whimsy usually reserved for long beach days.

While you could just throw some lightly oiled produce on the grill and call it a day, I’m always striving to maximize my levels of summer whimsy. Here are a few techniques for doing just that.

Skewers, baby! Do things just taste better when eaten off a stick? I think that's certain of eggplant and zucchini. Even cheese! If you use wooden skewers, just be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes before they hit the grates. For even cooking, cut your vegetables into uniform pieces and group ingredients by texture and thickness, rather than stacking a rainbow of vegetables that will finish at different rates.

Marinate … after grilling. Season the vegetables with nothing more than salt, pepper and olive oil before they hit the grill, and you’ll save time without the expense of flavor. That's because, as the vegetables sizzle, you can throw together a quick bath of olive oil, sherry vinegar, whole-grain mustard and shallots for everything to rest in. Once browned and tender, vegetables like radicchio, broccolini and eggplant will soak up the tangy dressing.

Serve veg with an agrodolce sauce and creamy cheese. A platter of grilled tomatoes, corn, asparagus and peppers instantly becomes a casual dinner party centerpiece when drizzled with a sweet-and-spicy sauce punctuated with golden raisins and presented alongside masses of burrata. More assembly than anything, this recipe has readers shouting its praises in the comments: "Wow," wrote one reader, Rianne. "I’ve tried NYT cooking recipes before but none of them have really amazed me like this one has."

View this recipe.

View this recipe.

View this recipe.

We’re in the throes of wedding season, and for the first summer in years, I have no nuptials on my calendar. Color me a bit bummed, because Natasha Pickowicz's new article detailing how to make a wedding cake at home has me wishing any one of my pals would get hitched right about now.

Might I make her recipe for a tiered vanilla chiffon cake soaked in charred citrus juices and layered with a charred citrus compote, granola-like sesame crunch and toasted sesame buttercream for my own birthday next month instead? Signs point to yes.

Despite the cake's many components, her charming video tutorial on the New York Times Cooking YouTube makes the whole affair seem not only doable, but also extremely fun.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

Email us at [email protected]. Newsletters will be archived here. Reach out to my colleagues at [email protected] if you have questions about your account.


Skewers, baby! Marinate … after grilling . Serve veg with an agrodolce sauce and creamy cheese . Summer Vegetable Skewers Marinated Grilled Vegetables Sweet-and-Spicy Grilled Vegetables With Burrata