Hearth-Roasted Seasonal Vegetables 2.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Oct 5, 2018

Developing a good char is more about feel and less about exact timing. Watch these vegetables closely for moisture and browning, the timing will depend on your coal bed.

You will need a wire grilling basket.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups seasonal vegetables, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons garlic-flavored oil, plus more for garnish
  • Large lemon wedge
  • 1 tablespoon toasted/roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • About 1/4 cup mix of soft fresh herbs and/or edible flowers, such as basil, mint, tarragon, thyme, marigold petals, nasturtium blossoms and borage flowers, for garnish


Prepare a grill for direct heat: Light hardwood chunks -- you’ll need a pile large enough to fit under a wire grilling basket -- and let them burn until you have a good bed of all-red coals. For a hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the heat for no more than 2 or 3 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Meanwhile, sort the vegetables into three piles of varying textures: firm root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, potato, winter squash, turnip); medium-firm (bok choy root, bell peppers, fennel, celery); and leafy greens (kale, chard, bok choy tops). Toss each set of vegetables with some of the garlic oil in a mixing bowl.

Rake the coals away from the fire into a small pile. Fan them to remove ash. Set a wire grilling basket atop the coals to preheat it (the wire will start to glow red in the center). Add the firm vegetables, spreading them evenly in the basket.

Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, watching them closely and fanning the coals occasionally, until they begin to release moisture. Remove the basket and turn the vegetables with tongs, checking for tenderness and browning.

Before they are done, slide the firmer vegetables to the cooler side of the basket (they need to continue to cook over indirect heat), and add the medium-firm vegetables, spreading them out. Fan the coals occasionally and watch for them to release moisture; cook for another 5 minutes. When they begin to sweat, turn them and add the leafy greens.

Briefly cook the leafy vegetables over direct heat (some will darken and turn crisp). Once they are wilted, remove the basket from the coals.

Toss the vegetables with a splash more oil, a squeeze of juice from the lemon wedge, the sesame seeds, Aleppo pepper and a good pinch of salt.

Garnish with fresh flowers and herbs. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Jeremiah Langhorne, chef at the Dabney in the District's Shaw neighborhood.

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

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