Except my mom, since she made this before I did, a few years back. Hi Mom!
What do you think of when you think of zucchini? Ryan, being a man, said "green vegetable". I wanted him to say mush. Bland. Blech. Soggy. But, he didn't. So I'll lead into this post myself. I'm not a fan of cooked zucchini, or most squashes. Is zucchini a squash? I think it's a squash variety. Either way, grilling is the way you should have zucchini. Try this recipe. Face it, you need a new way to use the abundance of zucchini that comes with summer. Armed with this recipe, you will not shrink away from folks at church who drop off a bag full of zucchini! As we all know, when there is some zucchini, there is a lot of zucchini.
Grilled Zucchini with Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
serves four as a side dish
Zucchini has a high water content, so it's helpful to salt it and draw out some of the water before grilling. See instructions below.
3 small or 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or a dash of dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (I used lime last night...all I had)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggianio (NOT the green can "cheese"!)
Wash the zucchini well and dry. Trim ends and quarter the zucchini lengthwise. Slice off the top 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the soft seed core by running a sharp knife down the length of each quarter; it's alright if some seeds remain (I actually forgot this step as you can see below). Arrange the zucchini, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Blot the quarters dry with paper towels.
(Note the water that is drawn out over a few minutes)
Heat a gas grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, whisk 2 T of the oil, the vinegar, thyme, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Set aside. Toss the zucchini with the remaining 1 tsp olive oil. Set the zucchini, cut side down on the grill and cook, flipping occasionally, until it browns and softens but doesn't turn mushy, 6 to 8 minutes. Cut the zucchini into 3-inch pieces and put in a medium bowl. Whisk the viniagrette again and drizzle over zucchini. Sprinkle on the Parmigiano, toss well, adjust the seasonings to taste, and serve immediately.
Ok, I confess. I made this quickly the other night and didn't follow the directions for cutting out the seeds or grilling the long segments before cutting into pieces. I recommend following the directions :).
I also have another recipe for grilled zucchini using sun-dried tomatoes and basil, if you are interested.