Grilled Zucchini & Tomato Salad with Basil Leaves & Lemon Dressing
Recipe by Chef Michael Smith
Zucchini is the perfect summer vegetable for filling Half Your Plate. Not only is it seasonally fresh, packed with flavour and nutritionally dense but it’s simple to grill. Its firm texture easily handles the heat while absorbing lots of delicious charred flavours. This side dish is equally delicious hot off the grill or chilled for later making it ideal for grilling season.
Makes enough for 6 to 8 sides
For the grilled salad
4 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
4 ripe plum tomatoes also cut in half lengthwise
2 red onions, peeled and cut into 2 or 3 thick, nested slices
1 or 2 bunches of fresh basil leaves
freshly ground pepper
For the lemon dressing
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup of your best olive oil
a tablespoon of Dijon mustard
a tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of salt
a splash of your favourite hot sauce
Prepare and preheat your grill or barbecue to its highest setting. Scrape the grates clean if need be and lightly oil them. Alternatively build a raging hardwood fire and patiently wait for it to die down to a thick bed of glowing coals.
Make the dressing. Simply measure the ingredients into a mason jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously until a smooth dressing emerges. Alternatively whisk until smooth.
Grill the vegetables. Lightly oil and season each surface. Carefully position the zucchini cut side down and the tomatoes skin side down. Add the onions keeping the rings nested. Grill until tender and lightly caramelized, 5 minutes or so. Carefully flip and continue until thoroughly cooked, 10 minutes or so in total.
Cut the vegetables into bite sized pieces. Toss the works with basil leaves and dressing. Serve and share.
As with any meat the key to grilling vegetables without sticking is lots of heat. Taking the time to thoroughly preheat your grill is the secret. Keeping it clean and a light oiling really helps too!