Make R.U.B. BBQ’s Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic-Maple Dressing, Like Paul Kirk


The new Long Island outpost of Chelsea’s R.U.B. BBQ is just the first of several new locations coming to the tristate area. Executive chef and co-owner Paul Kirk, known as the Kansas City Baron of Barbecue, named his mini but growing restaurant empire Righteous Urban Barbecue, so you’d expect that when asked for a recipe he’d send over something meaty. Instead, he shares the recipe for his Grilled Vegetables With Balsamic-Maple Dressing.

“I feel that vegetables get a bad rap, because when people think of barbecuing or grilling they think of protein. So, they don’t consider it, which is a big mistake,” says Kirk. “An example: I was catering a dinner for a local animal shelter and they said that they had several vegetarians so could I do some grilled vegetables? No problem. I did a pan of five different vegetables and thank goodness the vegetarians went through the line early because they went fast. This recipe is simple and can even be done in the oven for those without a grill.”

Grilled Vegetables With Balsamic-Maple Dressing
by Paul Kirk, executive chef of R.U.B. BBQ

Yield: 6

1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
2 zucchini
8 ounces carrots, peeled
1 red sweet red pepper, seeded and cored
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cored
1 large purple onion, peeled
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup real maple syrup (B-grade)

Slice the carrots and zucchini into thirds, the peppers into eighths, and cut the onions into 8 wedges, leaving the root end intact. In a bowl, toss the vegetables with oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place the vegetables on a preheated medium grill. Close the lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the asparagus and keep warm, and rotate the remaining vegetables 90 degrees to make crosshatched grill marks. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes, turning and cooking, until tender-crisp. Remove the vegetables from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, bring the vinegar and maple syrup to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let simmer until thickened or about 2 minutes. Brush one quarter of the glaze over the vegetables, then turn over and brush the other. Transfer to a serving platter and brush with the remaining glaze or drizzle it over top, and serve.