Recipe of the Month
Grilled Zucchini Salad with Sea Salt and Lemon Zest From Chef Andy Husbands from Tremont 647, Boston, MA
There’s a real skill to perfectly grilling zucchini, eggplant and summer squash – a second too long and you have a mushy piece of we don’t know what. The key is to remember that, just like a steak or piece of fish, vegetables keep cooking after they are removed from the heat source. So it’s important to get them off the fire early enough.
Make sure not to over-oil vegetables before you grill them. Zucchini absorbs oil, and too much would make the salad greasy or the oil could drip and cause a flare-up. When you have a flare-up, soot, or carbon, envelops the food, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.
Makes 4 side-dish servings
- 2 medium-sized zucchini, ends removed, sliced lengthwise 1/2″/13 mm thick
- 2 tablespoons/30 mL olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons/30 mL slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons/30 mL roughly chopped parsley
- 5 basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 4 mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon/15 mL grated Parmesan cheese
- Coarse sea salt, for serving
- Build a medium direct fire. Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney halfway with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged – you should see flames peeking over the top – pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust the temperature on both sides to medium.
- Lightly oil zucchini and season with salt and pepper.
- When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 5-8 seconds, clean the grill grate. Place zucchini on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until it is golden brown and the zucchini is firm but you can bend it with tongs. Remove from heat and place on cutting board.
- Slice the zucchini crosswise about 1/4″/6 mm thick and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the zucchini and toss very gently to combine. Sprinkle sea salt over the salad and serve immediately or set aside at room temperature until serving time.
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