For those of you with gardens, your zucchini is coming in fast and furious right now, I’m sure. If you haven’t got a garden, they’re plentiful in farmer’s markets too. How to use all those zucchini? I’ve posted lots of recipes on the blog, from stuffed zucchini to raw zucchini salad to chocolate zucchini cake. But grilled veggies are great for summertime, especially if you’re having guests. You can make this ahead of time and serve it at room temperature. And sometimes you want something different from the ubiquitous potato salad and oil-and-vinegar-based side dishes. That’s where grilled veggies come in. My favorite is zucchini, because they don’t soak up as much oil as eggplants. Here I’ve combined the zucchini with roasted peppers (instructions here), and a sprinkling of feta cheese. Start with slicing the zucchini rather thick – about 1/4 inch. If the slices are too thin, they’ll scorch on the grill. Thick slices gives the zucchini time to cook on the inside and develop nice grill marks too.
I don’t have a picture for you, but I normally put the slices in a large bowl, season with minced garlic, salt, pepper and fresh herbs – here it’s chives and thyme. Pour some olive oil into the bowl, then mix everything together, using your hands. Place the slices on the grill (don’t stray far, they’ll cook fast) and turn them once, until they’re browned on each side.
Serve them alone, or with roasted peppers, more fresh herbs and a scattering of feta cheese.
Onions are great on the grill too, but to avoid having the rings fall through the grates, I use an aluminum foil pan. Run a little olive oil on each side, then season the same way – salt, pepper and fresh herbs. These take a little longer to brown, but it’s worth the wait for that caramelized goodness. I use the same technique for grilled tomatoes.
If you have leftovers, so much the better. Grilled veggies are delicious in a sandwich, as a topping for pizza, or added to pasta or rice.
vegetables, like zucchini, eggplants, onions
fresh herbs (thyme, chives)
Slice the vegetables on the thick side (about 1/4 inch). Place in a bowl (not the onions or tomatoes – put them on an aluminum pan and season with the oil, garlic and herbs) Pour some olive oil over the vegetables to coat them, season with the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill and turn once, after the first side has developed nice grill marks. Flip and do the same on the other side.