I’ve never been much of a hotdog person. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel a bit left out at barbecues and baseball games. I’ve tried a few different veggie dogs that are actually very good (I’m looking at you, Lightlife Smart Dogs), but I’m also trying to eat less processed foods. Naturally, I turned to the only vegetable I could think of that even slightly resembles a hotdog – carrots.
I first saw carrots used as hotdogs on Pinterest last summer. Some friends came over for a barbecue and we experimented with different cooking methods, all of which rendered our carrots crunchy, rubbery, or a weird combination of the two. I was just about ready to give up on making carrots into something they’re not, until I decided to give it one last shot. I’m so glad I did!
The trick to perfectly tender, grillable carrots is par boiling. In other words, cooking the carrots halfway so they’re tender, but not mushy. This drastically cuts down on the time you have to spend tending to your veggies on the grill. For this recipe, I recommend using carrots on the large side, about an inch in diameter at the widest end. If you use smaller carrots from your farmers’ market, check on them after they’ve been boiling for about five minutes. The little guys cook much faster than bigger ones.
If you’re trying to avoid gluten or just aren’t much of a bread or bun person, you can stick a bamboo or metal skewer through the carrots lengthwise (after they’re done marinating), stick them on the grill, and eat them as you would a corndog. It’s really fun to eat a carrot off a stick. I highly recommend it.
These balsamic grilled carrot dogs are a major hit with vegans and omnivores alike. They’re gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, sugar-free, and only require five ingredients! Dress them up exactly to your liking and watch them disappear from your barbecue spread in minutes. In fact, you might want to have an extra batch marinating in the fridge for round two!Print
These balsamic grilled carrot dogs are a major hit with vegans and omnivores alike. Dress them up exactly to your liking and watch them disappear from your barbecue spread in minutes!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots to the water and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until just barely fork tender. Be careful not to overcook them! Drain and immediately submerge the carrots in an ice bath to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare your marinade. Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper in a shallow dish or plastic bag. When the carrots have cooled, place them in the marinade and roll them around to coat them in the liquid.
- Refrigerate the carrots for at least two hours. If you remember, shake the dish or bag around every hour or so to make sure the carrots get coated on all sides.
- When ready to cook, pre-heat your grill to medium. Remove the carrots from the marinade and allow excess liquid to drip back into the dish or bag. Using tongs, gently transfer the carrots onto the grate. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then flip the carrots over and grill a few minutes more. They should appear caramelized, but not burnt.
- Transfer carrots to a plate and serve with hotdog buns and the condiments of your choice (our Smokey Tomato Jam and Kale Walnut Pesto make terrific accompaniments!)