Grilled Summer Vegetables with Charred Scallion Garlic Dressing

I love grilling when the weather finally turns and Autumn whispers “hurry up, I’m almost here, get your grilling in!”

I’m not a fan of standing over a grill filled with red-hot coals while it is 95 degrees out and extremely humid. But as soon as September creeps in, I’m out there grilling whatever I can find, and that means lots of vegetables from the farm stands and farmers markets. I’ll periodically grill right through winter as well, as long as the snow is not three-feet deep.

Grilled dressing, yum!

In this recipe, I’ve even grilled the dressing ingredients! Scallions are delicious when given a little char, and grilled garlic is every bit as delicious as roasted garlic, but with a smoky edge to it. It is also simpler because I just throw the whole head on the grill with no prep whatsoever! The dressing is thick, creamy, and memorable!

Make it your way

You can swap out any vegetables you like. If asparagus is in season, definitely use that. Golden or candy-striped beets, green zucchini, turnips, radishes, corn of course. Use what you like, or what looks best at the market that day!

For best results, use a charcoal grill, or add wood chips in a perforated foil packet to your gas grill. You want that wood smoke flavor!

Grilled Summer Vegetables with Charred Scallion & Garlic Dressing

  • 2 red peppers, halved
  • 2 yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, sliced thickly
  • 1 large fennel bulb, halved or quartered
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • A few basil leaves, or fresh parsley, torn

For the dressing:

  • 4 scallions
  • 1 large head garlic, grilled
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin oil

Prepare your grill. Once the charcoal is ready to cook, clean the rack and oil it with a neutral oil.

Prep your veggies while the charcoal is heating up, then spray them lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Place all the vegetables, and the head of garlic, on the grill, and put the top on, adjusting the vents so there is ample smoke. Check frequently, and when the summer squash has grill marks, turn them. These need just a few minutes, if they go too long, they will turn to mush. When cooked, set aside.

The vegetables will cook at different rates, just remove from the grill when they are ready.

Once the peppers are charred, turn them. Continue cooking until they are soft. Once cooked, seal in a paper bag, or covered bowl, for 10 minutes so you can easily scrape the charred peelings off. Add to the squash.

Cook the fennel until it has lost its firmness, and has some charred edges, remove, and add to the others.

Cook the garlic until it is soft to the touch. Let cool slightly, then cut off the end and squeeze all the pulp out.

Add the scallions to the grill, they cook quickly, so turn them after a minute and keep your eye on them. You want some char, a bit of black, but some green left!

Place the bread on the grill to toast as well, both sides, then cut them into cubes. Set aside.

To make the dressing, place the garlic pulp and all the rest of the dressing ingredients in a small food processor and process until smooth! Taste and correct the seasoning.

Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Add them all to a large mixing bowl and add the bread cubes and basil. Gently toss with the dressing and place in a serving bowl. You can also plate this and top with the dressing if you want to control how much dressing you use.

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  1. I am so jealous Dorothy. Its already chilly and fall weather in New Jersey. Can’t grill much. Your dish looks fabulous.

    1. We’ve been lucky this year Smitha! It’s been nice and warm, not hot, during the day, and chilly at night. We’re still eating outside on the porch most meals, but we know it won’t last long…

  2. Still grilling? You lucky soul. Looks scrumptious. 🍁🍂🌾

    1. Thanks Gail! Yes, I’ll be grilling until I need my snow boots!

  3. I love grilled veggies especially the peppers 🌶😋 Usually I season with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh chopped parsley but this dressing is very interesting and for sure adds a nice touch to the veggies 😉

    1. Thank you. There’s something about the flavor of charred scallions!

  4. Fabulous! The dressing sounds amazing!

    1. Thanks! It was the perfect touch to the salad.

  5. Let's Cook says:


  6. Haha! Autumn is DEFINITELY making its entrance! Will have to try this before summer is officially over! ☀️🍂

  7. Sounds wonderful. A good idea to barbecue in colder seasons instead of full summer.

  8. Julia says:

    If I made the dressing, I could see it becoming my husband’s favorite dressing. He loves roasted garlic!

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