After I posted The Great Big Summer Pasta Salad recipe I got a handful of emails from readers asking me to post my grilled zucchini technique so here you go!
I must say that after years of grilling zucchini and trying rounds, spears and those strange long, thinly cut slices, this is my absolute favorite technique and really does yield PERFECTLY GRILLED ZUCCHINI every time.
What I like best about this method is that you can cook your zucchini this way (in big batches) and toss it into almost anything like my pasta salad or just serve it as a simple side dish. Some other ideas are alongside scrambled eggs, tossed with some fresh tomatoes and a touch of olive oil or with grains and beans for a filling and quick main dish. It holds up well after cooking and can be reheated quickly in the microwave.
A Garden update!
My Spring container garden has been quite the experiment. I harvested a decent amount of lettuce, collards and kale for but was at a loss when it came to the Totsoi.
The herbs were a mixed bag, the oregano and parsley sprouted like weeds (and continue to do so) while the mint did so-so. Surprisingly, the rosemary and thyme never grew. They didn’t recede or die, they just stagnated. It was so surprising because they grow wild in this climate and many of our neighborhood plots are covered with rosemary, thyme and sage bushes. It turned out that I didn’t loosen the root systems properly when I planted them, so that was my fault- make sure you don’t make the same error.
As summer approached, it became clear that we needed to over-haul our containers and get rid of some of the plants that weren’t doing so great anymore. My mother-in-law arrived just in time to help me (she is an amazing gardener!) and we decided that since I missed the boat on planting tomatoes we were going to go heavy on the herbs and add a couple zucchini plants.
She also bought my son an adorable little trowel and rake so he could “garden” along with us. If you have ever tried planting with a 2.5 year old, then you will surely understand how entertaining it is as well as difficult to move quickly. Between being scared of the hose, digging up dirt and the plants we had just finished planting, and pouring entire shovels full of dirt down my back, I think it’s fair to say he really enjoyed himself.
We took out the lettuce, collards, kale, totsoi, rosemary and thyme, added two zucchini plants, two sweet basil, one Genovese basil, one Thai basil and two cilantro plants.
Since I have limited space, we decided to go with plants that have larger yields to maximize the space (hence the zucchini) and my hope is that I will be able to freeze some Pesto for my husband since one of his all-time favorite meals is a simple homemade pasta, chicken, greens and pesto.
I also learned that my pots were not getting enough light (surprise, surprise) or water (in rainy Seattle if you can believe it!) and we moved them out from under the shadow of our tree so they are getting a couple more hours sunlight. Many of these plants need at least six hours of direct sun as well as a good amount of water. I am rotating them occasionally and watering them much more often (read: almost every day) than I was (read: never). Another tip I got from my mother-in-law is to re-purpose vegetable cooking water to water the plants. So when you boil or blanch vegetables such as greens or corn on the cob, let the water cool down and instead of tossing it down the drain, use it to water your edible plants. It adds a bit of extra nutrients to the soil and saves you water.
So, Organic Container Garden Phase 2 is officially under way. I am excited to keep learning and love showing my son that you can grow your own food! Cross your fingers we do even better this round.
- 1 pound zucchini
- Olive Oil Mister (see NOTES) OR 2 teaspoons olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Clean zucchini slice off the ends.
- Slice each zucchini in half length-wise.
- Drizzle half the olive oil over the zucchini and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn over and repeat.
- Cook zucchini cut face down on a medium-high grill for 8 to 9 minutes. Flip over to skin side and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Enjoy!