If you have the grill fired up to cook your steak, chicken, fish or other favorites, also grilling the veggie side dish can kick it up a notch. Add a little texture and smoky flavor to zucchini and summer squash with this recipe by cooking teacher and cookbook author Marie Simmons, which appeared in Real Food. The sun-dried tomato and caper sauce adds a zesty pop of flavor.
For this recipe, select larger squash so you can create nice slabs of the delicate vegetable, notes Simmons. And use a timer as a guide, but check in throughout the cooking process, flipping over and moving it around on the grates so they don’t char. A vegetable is cooked when a fork or the tip of a knife goes into the flesh easily, not when the timer goes off. She also offers the following pointers which can help when cooking other vegetables as well:
Tips and Tricks
• There’s no need to oil the grates when the vegetables have been brushed with oil.
• Always grill vegetables with the lid closed so the temperature approximates that of a very hot oven.
• Cooking vegetables over indirect heat will help prevent charring before they are fully cooked and tender. To cook over indirect heat, preheat the entire grill to the highest heat:
For charcoal: Fire the coals until red-hot. When ready to grill, push the charcoal to the edges of the grill to create a hot but tame heat source in the center, where you will cook the vegetables.
For gas: turn all the jets on high. When the grill is hot, turn the center flame to low (or off) to create a high-heat environment without hot spots.
Zucchini and Summer Squash with Dried Tomato and Caper Vinaigrette
Makes 4 Servings
1⁄2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped into 1⁄8-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon small capers, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried)
1 clove garlic, grated
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large (about 10 ounces) zucchini, ends trimmed
1 large (about 10 ounces) yellow squash, ends trimmed
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a medium bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients. Stir to blend and set aside.
2. Cut zucchini and squash into lengthwise ovals about 1⁄3 -inch thick. Lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat grill. Place zucchini and squash in center of grill. Cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, until golden and tender. Transfer to a platter.
4. Spoon vinaigrette over vegetables and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition info (per serving): Calories 148 (109 from fat); FAT 12g (Sat. 2g); Chol 0mg; Sodium 109mg; Carb 9g; Fiber 3g; Protein 3g