Harvest Moon Dogs

published May 27, 2022
Harvest Moon Dogs Recipe

All-beef hot dogs with garlicky yogurt and grilled corn salad

Makes8 hot dogs

Prep20 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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Grilled hot dogs with various grilled veggie toppings
Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

In the fall of 2021, I took my catering crew to Washington, New Jersey, to cook for an outdoor wedding. On our way, we stopped by Hot Dog Johnny, which was a childhood favorite of the groom. I’m a huge fan of a roadside hot dog. The stand itself was frozen in time, with a giant ’70s-style sign you could pose in front of. I got my hot dog with ketchup, mustard, relish, and a pickle spear, which I could argue was my vegetable serving for the day.

We didn’t serve hot dogs at the wedding (although I’m open to the idea!) but we grilled a ton of farm-fresh vegetables and carne asada for tacos. On our way back to Brooklyn, I had to stop by a farm stand to get another bushel of Jersey corn, a variety so sweet that you can eat it raw.

While I was trying to come up with more ideas for the weekly hot dog that I create for Wonderville, an arcade gallery and bar in Brooklyn, I was still in a grilling mood and wanted to utilize my large stock of sweet corn. I thought about my double pickle dog from Hot Dog Johnny’s and how could I make a fresher version with lots of crunch.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

What I came up with was a dog topped with grilled Jersey sweet corn and bell pepper chopped up with cucumber, garlicky Greek yogurt, and finished with grated limu omani (dried black limes). We dubbed this creation the Harvest Moon Dog, after the 1996 farm simulation video game for Super Nintendo.

I scored the hot dog down the middle to create a trough for the garlicky yogurt — which, combined with the chunks of cucumber, is like a deconstructed tzatziki sauce. If you’ve never had limu omani, whole pieces can be grated with a microplane as you would nutmeg (or flick on a pinch or two of powdered lime to add a mellow but deep acidity). Together, it’s almost like piling a delicious mezze platter onto a hot dog.

If You Make Harvest Moon Dogs, a Few Tips

  • Choose you cucumber. If you can’t find Persian cucumber, try Kirby or slice up any cucumber to make up 1 cup.
  • Grill ’em all! This recipe is great for when you’re already grilling up a bunch of vegetables. In addition to the other vegetables you’re cooking, just add an extra ear of corn and a bell pepper for the hot dog topping.
  • Love your leftovers. Any leftover vegetables can be tossed with rice vinegar and cooked chickpeas for a salad.

Harvest Moon Dogs Recipe

All-beef hot dogs with garlicky yogurt and grilled corn salad

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Makes 8 hot dogs

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    ear fresh sweet corn, or 1 cup canned sweet corn

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper

  • 2

    Persian cucumbers

  • 1

    clove garlic

  • 1/2 cup

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 8

    all-beef hot dogs

  • 8

    hot dog buns, preferably split-top

Optional garnishes:


  1. Heat an outdoor grill for direct, medium-high heat (about 375ºF). Meanwhile, shuck 1 ear fresh corn or drain 1 cup canned sweet corn.

  2. Place the ear of fresh corn and 1 medium red bell pepper on the grill and grill uncovered until charred all over, turning them every 2 to 3 minutes, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, quarter 2 Persian cucumbers lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl.

  3. Cut the corn kernels from the cob and add to the cucumber (or add the canned corn). Trim and small dice the red bell pepper. Add to the bowl of cucumber and stir to combine.

  4. Finely grate 1 garlic clove into a small bowl. Add 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

  5. Score 8 hot dogs: Starting at about 1/4-inch from one end, cut one long slit lengthwise about 1/2-inch deep down the center of each hot dog, stopping about 1/4-inch from the other end.

  6. Place the hot dogs on the grill and grill uncovered until a little charred and the slit separates more noticeably, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the upper rack of the grill, a cooler spot on the grill, or a baking sheet tented loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  7. Working in batches if needed, place 8 hot dog buns on a cut side (for split-top buns) or cut-side down (for regular) on the grill. Grill uncovered until toasted (flip the split-top buns halfway through to toast both sides), 30 seconds to 2 minutes total. Transfer to a baking sheet or plate.

  8. To assemble, place a hot dog in each bun. Top each hot dog with 1 tablespoon of the sauce and 1/4 cup of the vegetable mixture. Garnish with finely grated dried Omani lime or a sprinkle of za’atar, sumac, or Aleppo pepper.

Recipe Notes

Cucumber: The Persian cucumber can be substituted with 1/4 regular or 1 Kirby cucumber.

Make ahead: The yogurt sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. The vegetables can be grilled up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Leftover yogurt sauce and vegetables can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers for up to 3 days.