The best thing about grilling? The possibilities for cooking over an open flame are endless.
So this month, we're bringing you "Take Back the Grill," a monthlong series about taking a break from burgers and steak. We're not vegans, but even we go meat-free every once in a while.
Instead of (ahem) grilling Bobby Flay about the usual suspects to kick things off, we asked him for his top tips for cooking vegetables and fish over charcoal or gas.
Have patience, grasshopper. "With flaky fish, use high heat and only flip it once. People get nervous that it's going to stick, so they check it too early--and that's exactly when it sticks. The longer it's on the grill, the better chance the fish has of coming off the grate."
Size matters. "Cut your vegetables into large pieces for the grill. Then chop them into smaller pieces afterward for salads and the like."
Dress for success. "I always keep a simple dressing ready--like olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs--and I hit the warm vegetables right after they come off the grill. That way the dressing really soaks in."
Don't be a tool. "All you really need is a metal spatula, a good pair of tongs and a brush to clean the grill. All the other stuff out there is fun but unnecessary."
And because his latest obsession is charring eggplant for sweet-and-sour, agrodolce-inspired salads, he shared his recipe for swordfish with a grilled eggplant-and-pepper salad (see the recipe).
You won't miss your steak one bit. After all, in the words of Mr. Flay: "Swordfish is practically in the meat department anyway."