WIAW 30 – Grilled Zucchini
It’s the end of July, and we’ve come into zucchini season.
People tell me that gardeners fear this vegetable… They tell me that it is incredibly prolific, that it gets away from you, that one day you have cute blossoms and the next day you have green baseball bats… and that a classic August pastime in much of the country is Sneaking Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch. For those of us who have no room to grow the plants, though, the story is a bit different.
I love zucchini (and other summer squash, too, for that matter.) It is a blessing for the cook with low energy or limited time. It’s very easy to clean, you can eat it raw, you can cook it very quickly. And it tastes good – mild and fresh.
I routinely cut up small tender squash to eat raw in salads. A key to not tiring of my constant salad lunches is that I’m not just eating salad greens – there is a great variety of flavors and textures on each plate. Sometimes it is good to vary the texture even of the same vegetable.
Last summer I posted about grilling vegetables – both summer squash and eggplant. They’re delicious, of course, hot – but you can also marinate them, chill them, and serve them as a cold vegetable or toss them into a salad. Grilling works well with more mature plants that aren’t quite tender enough to eat raw, or with the vegetables you picked up a week ago which should really be used… (With a CSA you only get your vegetables once a week, so you need to watch the freshness. On the other hand, what I get in a supermarket is usually a good week away from the farm before I even get it… so I’m still ahead of the game.)
I prepared them basically the same way I wrote about – though instead of using a basting brush to brush them with oil, I’m now using an oil mister to spray it evenly. Then I mixed 1 tablespoon each of oil and vinegar – I used a good champagne vinegar, here! – and dropped the grilled vegetables, still hot, right into the marinade. I stir them to coat them, then pile them up, so the next batch drips marinade right onto the first… The hot vegetables soak up the flavor beautifully. Then let the grilled zucchini cool, and put it away with just the coating of marinade. (If you have enough zuccchini – eat some hot, marinate the rest, and one cooking session gives you vegetables for a couple of meals.)
Anyway… what I ate.
Breakfast was eggs scrambled with cheese, and whole wheat toast. Very quick, very simple. Oh, and coffee…
Lunch was salad – with chicken, and lots and lots of vegetables. Salad greens, of course – and cucumbers, and grated raw golden beets (you can use red beets, they taste good, but they “bleed” all over your salad…) and scallions and heirloom tomatoes. And marinated grilled zuccchini. I had rice cakes and hummus on the side, as well, and my usual water to drink.
For dinner – more vegetables, of course! Some leftover braised pork shoulder sauteed with young green onion, then chick peas and a little chicken broth and green beans. Basil and corn added at the very last minute.
Linking to Peas and Crayons…