If you have a garden and if your garden contains a zucchini plant or two, then you will recognize the groan of over-abundance that said plant (or three!) provides your table.
Zucchini in the garden are so seductive because they grow so fast, especially when everything else seems to be in slow-mo and you’re anxious for that garden fresh produce. But then it becomes the runaway train, the bellowing, maddened bull, trampling everything in its path and giving you nightmares about drowning in big leafy stalks with batons the size of tri-athletes’ calves. Ok, maybe that’s going a bit far, but they do terrorize me a little.
One of my go-to recipes to tame the beast is grilled zucchini, sprinkled with red wine vinegar and a fresh herb like basil or mint. The zucchini shrinks down to a manageable portion and this is one of the best cold vegetable anti-pastas ever!
Grilled Zucchini with Basil and Red Wine Vinegar
2 large zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch slices, 3-4 inches long
2 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons basil, cut in ribbons
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Start your grill. I am stubborn and old fashioned so I only use wood charcoal, but do whatever you choose. In large baking pan add enough olive oil to just cover the bottom and add garlic slices and spread around to get garlic into the oil. Add zucchini slices and coat them on both sides and allow to marinate until the grill is ready. Once the grill is hot (too hot to leave your hand above it for more than 3 seconds), place slices on grill and keep a watch on them. Depending on how hot the grill is, they will char in a minute or two. Turn when you see the edges beginning to brown. Once both sides are nicely grilled, place on platter and sprinkle liberaly with red wine vinegar and basil; season with salt and pepper. The slices will soak up the vinegar which will lose its acidic bite and actual sweeten as it cools. Best at room temperature but also good warm.
Recipes currently inspiring me:
Rhubarb Fool with Gingersnap Crumbs at Closet Cooking
Barbequed Beef Shortribs at Garden of Eating
Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Lambs’ Quarters Pizza at Nutmeg Nanny