You’re lost in thought, replaying that mistake you made at work over an over again in your head. Suddenly, you’re snapped back to reality. At first you just catch a whiff of it, but then it overtakes your nostrils. That acrid, unmistakable stench: burning.

 

You forgot about that bagel you put in the toaster and it didn’t pop itself out properly. You’ve always hated that toaster.

 

We’ve all been conditioned to be afraid of burning food. And for good reason; it smells bad, it tastes bitter, and it’s not pretty.

 

But, when harnessed properly, burnt can be a very useful flavor.

 

Those burnt black specks are what make roasted peppers so delicious. Charred leopard skin crust is an essential component of Neopolitan pizza. Burnt aromatics balance out the broth in Vietnamese pho.  

 

With grilling season in full swing, it’s time to start harnessing the power of char in your kitchen. Spring and summer vegetables are perfect candidates for controlled burn.

 

So, go ahead and unleash your inner pyro.

 

Burn some squash

 

Fire roast some corn