I’m not sure how it works at your house, but around here the BBQ is my husband’s domain. He’s a little touchy about me cooking on his precious grill ‑- there’s a seemingly elaborate dance about heat adjustments, lid closures and timing that I just don’t understand.
I will admit he has a stellar technique where he first sears the steaks and then uses the grill as an oven to finish cooking, producing delicious steaks and tri-tip.
Many times I muck up his methodical process. Maybe it’s the wife in me, or my youngest birth order status, but I push my way to claim a spot on the grill for zucchini, fava beans or peaches and mess it all up. Sorry, honey!
As a man in a household of girls (even the dog is female), I’ve started to make more of an effort to give the man his space, or at least his BBQ. I’m now grilling my stuff before or after the meat is done.
Enter this grilled squash recipe. By making it on the early side, the zucchini has a chance to soak up the flavorful vinaigrette. This is a great way to use that backyard bounty – I love the sweet, charred flavor of grilled zucchini and mixed with the zippy, bright flavors of the vinaigrette, it’s a perfect summer side.
While world peace is out of my reach, I can do my part to make peace around the grill possible. It’s the least I can do for our man and his meat. Happy Father’s Day.
Grilled Zucchini with Chile Mint Vinaigrette
Serves four to six as a side
Note: If you don’t have Fresno peppers handy you can substitute with a Padron pepper or half a jalapeño or even just a healthy pinch of red chile flakes.
4 zucchinis or yellow squashes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and zest of half the lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, sliced very thin
1 Fresno pepper, sliced very thin
1 green onion, white and light green part, sliced thin
1 tablespoon mint, chopped finely, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Whisk up the vinaigrette, reserving a few whole mint leaves for garnish. Slice the zucchini in about ¼ inch slices (I keep some of the stem on so it looks pretty and I like the way a little of the stem tastes). Brush the pieces with olive oil and a little sea salt. Grill until charred marks appear and blister the flesh of the zucchini. Turn the pieces as they cook to ensure even cooking. This entire process will take about 5-7 minutes.
Place on a platter and spoon about half the amount of the vinaigrette over zucchini. Add more if you feel it’s dry. Then, add tomatoes, reserved mint leaves, and good pinch of sea salt.
Alterations and additions:
Scoop this over a bed of quinoa for a quick meal.
Feel free to swap out the herbs for basil or oregano.
Shave Parmesan cheese over the zucchini for a non-vegan side dish.
Use the vinaigrette over your favorite grilled chicken recipe.