7 Charred Recipes That Are Singed Sensations

Typically, burnt food doesn’t taste good and is often viewed as being inedible. Some foods, however, taste even better when they’ve got a little singe to them. These seven dishes, which include recipes for veggies, salmon, and custard, require you to burn or char them to tasty perfection. The end result? A dish that has more flavor and depth due to its burnt exterior. Whether you’re in the mood to use a grill, skillet, or pan, these charred recipes are a great way to breathe new life into everyday foods.

Source: iStock

1. Charred Vegetable Salad

Use a gas or charcoal grill to give your veggies a charred and crispy flavor. Feel free to use white wine vinegar instead of champagne vinegar in CookingLight’s recipe, which yields eight servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 ½ pounds eggplant, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ounce oil-cured olives (about 12), pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup fresh small basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Directions: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine first 4 ingredients, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Place bell peppers, skin sides down, and onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes. Turn onion; add eggplant to grill. Remove bell peppers. Place bell peppers in a zip-top bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Grill eggplant and onion 5 minutes; remove onion.

Turn eggplant; grill 5 minutes. Remove eggplant. Add tomatoes to a grill basket; grill 5 minutes. Remove bell peppers from bag. Peel and discard skins; slice lengthwise. Combine ¼ teaspoon salt, vinegar, and sugar. Slowly add 2 tablespoons oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine vegetables, dressing, garlic, and olives. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, basil, and chives.

Source: iStock

2. Charred Peas, Mortadella and Burnt Ricotta

If you’ve got blackened cheese and blistered and charred peas after preparing Tasting Table’s recipe, you’ve successfully followed the directions to a T. The recipe yields four servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4-ounce piece of mortadella, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces ricotta salata, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups fresh shelled peas (or 2 cups frozen peas)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until the skillet starts to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mortadella and stir occasionally. Once it starts to render its fat, after about 3 minutes, add the ricotta salata. Once the cheese begins to blacken around the edges, after about 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a large plate.

To the same skillet used for the mortadella and ricotta salata, add the peas. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the peas are blistered and charred, about 5 minutes. Drizzle the olive oil over the peas and return the mortadella and ricotta salata to the skillet along with the lemon zest, parsley and garlic. Season with the salt and pepper, divide among four plates and serve.

Source: iStock

3. Skillet-Charred Cherry Tomatoes with Basil

Charring a tomato helps to bring out its sweetness, creating a tasty and simple dish. Food & Wine’s recipe, which yields ten servings, calls for olive oil, cherry tomatoes, squash blossom, and basil for a rich dish that’s oozing with flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ pints cherry tomatoes
  • 24 squash blossoms (optional)
  • ¼ cup small basil leaves or chopped basil
  • Salt and freshly ground peppe

Directions: Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking, 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, tomatoes and squash blossoms and cook until the tomatoes are lightly charred and about to burst, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper, and serve right away.

Source: Thinkstock

4. Wheat Berries with Charred Onions and Kale

Bon Appetit’s healthy recipe, which yields six servings, combines wheat berries, onions, thyme, olive oil, kale, and lemon juice to create a dinner dish you can feel good about eating. The key to this recipe’s great flavor is the charred onions and kale. Who knew burnt could taste so good?

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups wheat berries
  • 2 medium onions, halved, divided
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 packed cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions: Combine wheat berries, 1 onion half, thyme sprigs, and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until wheat berries are just tender but still firm to the bite, about 35 minutes. Drain; discard onion and thyme. Place wheat berries in a large bowl; let cool. Cut remaining 3 onion halves crosswise into ½-inch slices. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add onions.

Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with wheat berries. Add 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet. Working in 3 batches, add kale and cook, tossing occasionally, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and adding oil as needed between batches, until charred in spots, about 1 minute per batch. Add to bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and any remaining oil; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Source: iStock

5. Charred Salmon with Fennel and Olive Salad

The salmon’s crispy flavor pairs perfectly with the crunchy texture of the fennel salad. This BBC GoodFood recipe, which yields four servings, is fairly easy to make and calls for fresh ingredients, including salmon, tomatoes, fennel bulbs, parsley, and lemon.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large fennel bulbs
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • Zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 100 grams black olives, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 600 grams piece salmon fillet, skin on and scaled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 (20 gram) packs flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

Directions: Trim the fennel; then, using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice it as thinly as possible. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and have a bowl of iced water ready. Tip the fennel into the pan, leave for 30 seconds, then lift into the iced water with a slotted spoon. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Put a sieve over a large bowl and squeeze the seeds and juice from the tomatoes with your hands. Get rid of the seeds but keep the juices ready to make the dressing.

Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and a good pinch of salt to the tomato juices and stir well. Drain the fennel well and add to the bowl along with the olives, capers, and the tomato flesh. Mix well, then set aside. Heat oven to 356 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the salmon into 4 fillets, rub well with the vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle or frying pan with an ovenproof handle, then cook the salmon, skin-side down, over a medium heat for 7 mins.

There may be some smoke; make sure the salmon is well charred so it has a bitter, crisp bottom and the flesh is sweet, soft, and almost translucent inside. Now pop the salmon into the oven, still skin-side down in the pan, then roast for 3 minutes until just cooked through. Roughly chop the parsley and mix through the salad. Serve the salad on plates, then carefully lift the salmon from the pan and sit it on top, skin-side up. Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil and tuck in.

Source: iStock

6. Charred Green Beans

Food Network’s charred green beans recipe creates a simple, effortless, and absolutely delicious side dish. Coat your green beans with tarragon, whole-grain mustard, salt, and pepper for a zesty seasoning that provides unbelievable flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 6 smashed garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Toss 1 pound green beans on a baking sheet with 6 smashed garlic cloves, ¼ cup water, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until the beans are tender and slightly charred, about 20 minutes. Toss with 2 teaspoons each chopped tarragon and whole-grain mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.

Source: iStock

7. Burnt Custard Recipe

This custard’s broiled top gives it a delicious flavor. Taste of Home’s recipe, which yields six servings, is a four-ingredient dessert dish that won’t disappoint.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup plus 6 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan. Remove from the heat; stir a small amount of hot cream into egg yolk mixture. Return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to 6 (6 ounce) ramekins or custard cups.

Place cups in a baking pan; add 1 inch of boiling water to pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes or until centers are just set. Remove ramekins from water bath; cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Before serving, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Broil 8 inches from the heat for 2-4 minutes or until sugar is caramelized.

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