How Stephanie Izard Chars Veggies In Minutes — Without a Grill

The Girl & The Goat chef uses this simple trick for grilling onions, peppers, tomatoes, and even ramps in her Chicago home kitchen.

<p>Food & Wine / Galdones Photography / Acronycal / Getty Images</p>

Food & Wine / Galdones Photography / Acronycal / Getty Images

I live in a small Brooklyn apartment, and while I’m not blessed with outdoor space, I do have a gas stove. I was intrigued, then, when I saw Stephanie Izard’s method for grilling red onions for a smoky pico de gallo — the chef/owner of Girl & The Goat and Cabra thinly slices onions and grills them on a metal rack set right over her gas burners.

I asked Izard about this technique, and she said she swears by it for quick charred flavor on veggies or fruit like onions, tomatoes, peppers, shallots, and even ramps for her grilled ramp giardiniera. “If you want to get that charred flavor on one little thing but don’t want to spark up your grill outside, this is a nice way to get that open flame right on your vegetables,” she says. At her restaurants, Izard will use this trick in the morning to prep veggies for salsas or quick pickles when she doesn’t want to fire up the grill, she adds.

Related: 9 Essential Grilling Tools, According to Pro Chefs

Izard uses a grill grate in the video, but she says you can just as easily try this method with a smaller oven rack or toaster oven rack. Simply place the metal rack over the burners, crank the heat up to high, and grill lightly oiled veggies for about two minutes on each side, lowering the heat to medium-high part of the way through for thicker produce (avoid using oil for juicier produce like tomatoes or peppers).

You can also use this technique to quickly roast bell peppers if you want to char the skins so it’s easier to remove them. (Alternatively, you can use tongs to hold chiles or peppers over the flame, which is a common technique in Mexican cooking, but the grate method is particularly good for sliced veggies that may slip through the cracks.)

Of course, you can use a grill pan or your broiler for a similar charred effect without a grill, but both of these methods require preheating (and, as Izard says, a grill pan “isn’t really grilling, just putting lines on your food”). But also, using your burners is just infinitely more fun if you want to um, play with fire.

If you have a gas stove, try this technique to char onions, tomatoes, peppers, or even pineapples for salsa or chili. Note that you’ll want to reserve this hack for veggies or fruit — meats and other proteins have fat that can leak through the grates and cause dangerous flare-ups.

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