Uncle Smokey here again in after only one week. I got my arm twisted because August 8 is National “Sneak Some Zucchini on you Neighbor’s Porch Day.” Well, I wish somebody would celebrate this national holiday in my direction! I love the taste of grilled zucchini. It’s even tasty the next day as leftovers, but only if you cook it “al dente” because it does get a tad squishy.
Smaller Zucchinis are Best
The smaller the zucchinis, the smaller the seeds. Bigger zucchinis have bigger seeds, and I simply mill those in the food mill and freeze them for later use, like these gluten-free veggie fritters Jacqueline Soule posted about – here. Besides, smaller zucchinis seem to cook up sweeter and more tender.
Yes – yellow summer squash too! Cooks just as good as zucchini.
Season Simply – or Not
I like simple flavors. Basil or oregano and some salt are fine for me. But honestly, grilled zucchini is a blank canvas – go as wild as you want with flavors. Once they are grilled you could add some crunch with toasted sesame seeds or crushed nuts, load them up with chopped or torn herbs, or add zesty flavor with capers or citrus juice.
Zucchini tends to get a little mushy as it sits post grill. If you’re preparing a big meal, save the zucchini for last. Since cooked meat is best served after a short resting period, this works well. Cook your meat, put it to rest and cook your zucchini.
EASY Grilled Zucchini
medium zucchini, sliced into thick strips
high temperature cooking oil – like avocado or canola
salt – Kosher works well
herb of choice – basil, oregano, marjoram, Italian seasoning, lemon zest
pepper if desired – black or flakes of chili
In a large bowl, toss zucchini with oil.
Add seasoning and toss some more.
I prefer to gently coat my tender zucchini with my hands. This bruises them less than whacking around with a spoon. If you want to keep your hands out of your food, then at least use a wooden spoon.
Heat your grill medium to hot, and use tongs to rub an oiled paper towel over grates. The oil coats a hot grill better than a cold one. Don’t ever spray a lit grill with cooking spray. You do not want to win a Darwin Award. (Awarded to folks that take themselves out of the gene pool with idiotic behavior.)
Using tongs, place zucchini on grill.
Close the cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Flip, recover and cook about 2 minutes more.
At this point the zucchini will be tender and can come off the heat and be sprinkled with additional flavors, or perhaps a handful of toasted sesame seed. Don’t add salt at this point or they will get mushy.
I call myself “Uncle Smokey” because I do a great deal of cooking over the grill and also in the old-fashioned wood-fired smoker. Make a lot of bacon and brisket, plus smoked homemade sausage, chicken, turkey, and even experimenting with salt, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. I’m thinking of some desserts too, maybe pears?
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