The Underrated Vegetable Carla Hall Thinks You Should Throw On The Grill - Exclusive

When it comes to grilling vegetables, there are a few options that you might think of immediately. Grilled corn? Love it. Grilled summer squash and zucchini? Perfect. Grilled romaine with a salad? Yes, please. Carla Hall, known for her vibrant personality and undisputed cooking chops on shows like "Top Chef" and Food Network's seasonal baking championships, is no stranger to the last of these, often topping it with a honey-based hot sauce vinaigrette, as she told Tasting Table in a recent exclusive interview covering her favorite summer eats and her new role as an ambassador for the National Honey Board.

"I love to make ... a hot sauce vinaigrette," she said. "I love condiments. Condiments are your friend — ketchup, mustard, mayo. In this hot sauce vinaigrette, I use hot sauce, yellow mustard, honey, a little bit of vinegar, and salt and pepper. I [use that to] dress my salads. I love grilled romaine. I loved grilled radicchio and grilled vegetables, and I put this over it."

However, while grilled romaine and other veggies are pretty par for the course, one of the veggies that Hall recommended we throw on the grill this season was a bit surprising: celery. Thankfully, she also told us how to make it work.

How to grill celery

Celery is, according to Carla Hall, a completely underutilized, underrated vegetable — and one that doesn't get enough love in the kitchen (or on the barbecue).

"People put it in sauces; they put it in things like stews and mirepoix; but as an ingredient, it is underutilized," she said. "Grilling it changes things if you want to put it in something, but also with cheese on it, with hummus, grilled celery, and toasted nuts; tossed with butter with a little bit of salt; together with an apple and some cheese in a salad — oh my god. It is delicious."

If you want to try some celery on the grill yourself before summer comes to a close, the process is simple. Hall advised using a paring knife to remove the celery's strings, rubbing the celery in olive oil, and then either placing it whole or in halves or thirds on the grill.

She described, "It starts to char. It gets a little bit translucent around the edges, and then you'll know that it's cooking. You don't have to cook it until it's completely soft. It still has texture, but that smokiness completely changes it, and it is delicious."

Hall is currently an ambassador for the National Honey Board. Learn more about the Honey Saves Hives program at