Zucchini and Summer Squash with Dried Tomato and Caper Vinaigrette Recipe

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 

12 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped into 18-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 12 teaspoon dried) 
1 clove garlic, grated 
14 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
coarse salt
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 13 -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 

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.