This is just a crazy time of year to try to keep up with. Food is bustin’ out all over! It seems like you can barely drive down the street without passing a farm stand or farmer’s market. So, here’s the thing, don’t pass it! Pull in! Make sure you have some cash with you because this is direct support of local growers (without having Amex take its percentage off the top). You will also be realizing food as fresh and local as it gets. This time of year you are going to be running into a lot of zucchini and summer squash.
The easiest thing to do with summer squash and zucchini is to steam it. When it is fresh it virtually does not even need butter! (And you save a few calories in the process.) As good as it is, it does grow old after a while. So do what I do—throw it on the grill!
Throughout our short but bountiful growing season there are few things that I will not throw on the grill. Here is what I do with a few handy local ingredients.
Grilled Zucchini with Tomato and Basil
- 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 2 plum or small firm tomatoes, halved (remove the stem area)
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Some nice Parmesan Reggiano
- Pre-heat your grill.
- With the cut side up, lightly salt vegetables then drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with the chopped garlic.
- Place the vegetables on the grill cut side down; cook for 3-4 minutes. You are looking for grill marks!
- Turn and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Tomatoes should be cooked; remove from grill.
- Carefully lift the skin of the tomato away and rough chop the tomatoes.
- Allow the zucchini another 3-5 minutes to your preference.
- Chiffonade the basil leaves and add them to the tomatoes.
- Remove zucchini to serving plate.
- Grate a little fresh pepper on Zucchini then spread the tomato mixture onto it.
- Lightly grate Parmesan over everything.
- Serves 4.
- Works with summer squash as well.
- All grills differ; there is a fine line between good grill marks and burnt. You do not want burnt.
- Cooking times will vary. Experiment with your grill and preference of ‘doneness.’
- Grilling tomatoes is tricky but rewarding, so perfect your technique!