Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Balsamic Grilled Zucchini


I've recently found a way to get my husband to eat zucchini, as I've probably mentioned before. He's vegetarian, but gets super peeved when someone interprets "vegetarian option" as a main course of zucchini in any form. But I kinda like it - it's fast and easy as a side dish. So I've been boiling the shit out of it - until it practically turns to mush. He reallllly likes it that way. Indian people and they're smushy veg... go figure.

I'm a little sick of soggy zuc, so tonight I insisted on grilling it for a little more substance. He actually said, and I quote: "If all zucchini was like this, EVERYBODY would eat it!"

And it's very simple:

Balsamic Grilled Zucchini
Zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4" or 3/8" slices
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar (good quality)
Salt (preferably Gray Salt, but any is fine)
Black Pepper
Cayenne powder

Fire up a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray if things tend to stick to it - the sugar in zucchini will tend to make it burn down, so watch it doesn't get too hot.

In a shallow bowl, mix about 4 parts olive oil with 1 part vinegar - more if you desire, it's not science. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper in and whisk with a fork. 

Bathe each zucchini slice (both sides) briefly in the oil mix. Lay them on a plate in a single layer and sprinkle lightly again with salt, pepper, and a dusting of cayenne powder.

Lay zucchini on the hot grill pan and leave them on the first side at least 5 minutes without bothering them. Make sure the heat doesn't get too hot and cause smoking. (Yeah, my smoke alarm went off)

Turn them once, leave them alone for a while and continue to cook, turning if needed so they get nice grill marks. This might take a while - maybe 10 minutes. When ready, they'll be kind of translucent all the way through and flexible when you pick them up.

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