If you enjoy eating vegetables and want to learn how to cook them to their full delicious potential, follow this tip on how to char your vegetables:

Charring concentrates flavour and heightens sweetness.

This is intentional charring; not walking away from the stove while you’re distracted by the TV. Chef Gregory Gourdet, who recently competed on Top Chef Allstars, says carrots, cauliflower, and red cabbage develop deep, delicious flavors when you put them under the broiler or into a 450-degree oven for 10 minutes. “A lot of these vegetables have a mild background sweetness,” says Gourdet, who’s executive chef at Departure in downtown Portland, Oregon. “When you char them, that bitterness develops an umami. Bitter and sweet go well together.” Gourdet suggests pairing charred cauliflower with jerk seasoning, cabbage with XO sauce, and blackened broccoli with chili oil.