Looking for a hassle-free and delicious way to enjoy zucchini? Look no further than Easy Grilled Zucchini with Balsamic and Herbs. This recipe offers a simple yet flavorful twist to this versatile vegetable. With its smoky grilled flavor, a drizzle of tangy balsamic glaze, and the option to add fresh herbs, this dish is a delightful addition to any summer meal.
Ingredients & Substitutions For Grilled Zucchini
When it comes to grilled zucchini, the beauty lies in its simplicity. With just a handful of ingredients, you can create a flavorful and nutritious dish that everyone will love. However, if you find yourself missing a specific ingredient, don’t worry. There are several substitutions you can consider.
Firstly, let’s talk about the zucchini. This recipe calls for medium-sized zucchinis, but if you can’t find them, don’t fret. You can easily use smaller or larger zucchinis and adjust the grilling time accordingly. The key is to cut them into long strips to ensure even cooking.
Next, the olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is recommended for its rich flavor, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with regular olive oil or even vegetable oil. The goal is to provide a light coating to prevent the zucchini from sticking to the grill.
Italian seasoning adds a delightful blend of herbs to the dish, but if you don’t have it available, you can create your own by combining dried basil, oregano, thyme, and a touch of garlic powder. Feel free to adjust the proportions to suit your taste preferences.
Salt and pepper are essential for enhancing the flavors, but you can experiment with different seasonings like garlic salt, onion powder, or even a sprinkle of chili flakes for a hint of heat.
Now let’s talk about the toppings. While balsamic glaze adds a tangy sweetness to the grilled zucchini, you can substitute it with a drizzle of regular balsamic vinegar or even a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a burst of acidity.
Lastly, fresh basil is a wonderful herb to garnish the dish, but if you don’t have it available, you can try using parsley, cilantro, or even a sprinkle of dried herbs like dried basil or dried oregano.
- Grill: A grill is the star of this recipe, providing those coveted grill marks and smoky flavors. Whether you prefer a gas grill or a charcoal grill, make sure it’s clean and preheated to the recommended temperature for optimal cooking.
- Tongs: Long-handled tongs are ideal for flipping the zucchini strips on the grill. They provide a secure grip and keep your hands at a safe distance from the heat.
- Basting Brush: A basting brush is useful for brushing the olive oil and seasoning mixture onto the zucchini strips. Opt for a heat-resistant silicone brush that won’t melt or shed bristles onto your food.
- Cutting Board and Knife: A sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife are essential for slicing the zucchini into long strips. A cutting board with a groove to catch any juices will help keep your kitchen counter clean.
- Serving Platter: Choose a beautiful platter to showcase your grilled zucchini. It can be a simple ceramic plate or a rustic wooden board, adding a touch of elegance to your presentation.
How to Make This Grilled Zucchini with Balsamic and Herbs Recipe
To begin, preheat your grill to around 375 degrees. Meanwhile, wash the zucchini, remove the ends, and cut them into long lengthwise strips, about 1/3 of an inch in thickness.
In a bowl, mix together the extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. This flavorful mixture will serve as the marinade for the zucchini strips.
Next, take a basting brush and generously brush the olive oil and seasoning mixture onto the zucchini strips, ensuring that they are evenly coated. This step adds flavor and helps prevent the zucchini from sticking to the grill.
Once your grill is preheated, carefully place the zucchini strips on the grill grates. Allow them to cook for approximately 3-5 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear. This grilling process imparts a smoky flavor to the zucchini while maintaining a tender texture.
Once the zucchini strips are grilled to perfection, remove them from the grill and transfer them to a serving platter. Now it’s time to add the finishing touches. Drizzle a balsamic reduction over the grilled zucchini, allowing its tangy sweetness to complement the smoky flavors. For an optional burst of freshness, sprinkle some chopped fresh basil on top.
Now that your Easy Grilled Zucchini with Balsamic and Herbs is beautifully plated, it’s time to enjoy! Serve this delectable dish as a delightful side or even as a light main course. The combination of tender grilled zucchini, the tang of balsamic glaze, and the aromatic herbs will leave your taste buds craving more.
Tips & Tricks
- Cut the zucchini evenly: Maintain consistent thickness when slicing the zucchini into strips. This ensures even cooking and prevents undercooked or overcooked pieces.
- Preheat the grill properly: Before grilling, ensure the grill reaches the recommended temperature. This promotes even cooking and helps achieve those desired grill marks.
- Oil the grill grates: Prevent zucchini from sticking by lightly oiling the grates. Use tongs to rub a folded paper towel dipped in oil on the grates.
- Avoid overcrowding: Allow enough space between zucchini strips on the grill for proper heat distribution and even cooking. Overcrowding can lead to unevenly cooked zucchini and hinder grill marks.
- Keep an eye on the zucchini: Watch the zucchini closely while grilling to prevent overcooking or burning. Flip the strips once grill marks appear, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
- Serve it fresh: Enjoy the grilled zucchini immediately after cooking for the best texture and flavors. Serve while warm to preserve its delightful qualities.
- Explore variations: Get creative with toppings and sauces. Try fresh lemon juice, grated Parmesan cheese, or tzatziki sauce for alternative twists.
FAQ: Grilled Zucchini
Absolutely! While balsamic glaze provides a tangy sweetness, you can substitute it with regular balsamic vinegar or even try other vinegar varieties like red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a different flavor profile.
Yes, you can! If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can use a stovetop grill pan or an indoor electric grill to achieve similar results. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
It’s best to grill the zucchini just before serving for optimal flavor and texture. However, you can slice the zucchini in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day before grilling.
Certainly! While fresh basil adds a wonderful aroma, you can use other herbs like parsley, cilantro, or even a combination of herbs that you enjoy. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite combination.
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. You can enjoy the grilled zucchini cold or reheat it gently in a skillet or microwave before serving.
Absolutely! This recipe works well with other vegetables like bell peppers, eggplant, or even sliced onions. Adjust the grilling time accordingly based on the thickness of the vegetables.
Easy Grilled Zucchini with Balsamic and Herbs
- 3 medium sized zucchini, cut into long strips
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- balsamic glaze to drizzle
- chopped fresh basil (optional)
- Preheat the grill to about 375 degress. Wash zucchini, remove ends, and cut into long lengthwise strips, about 1/3 of an inch.
- Mix olive oil, italian spice, salt and pepper in a bowl together and brush onto zucchini strips.
- Grill the zucchini until grill marks appear, about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Serve with a drizzle of balsamic reduction, and fresh herbs if desired. Enjoy!
Grilled Zucchini is a delightful and straightforward recipe that celebrates the natural flavors of zucchini while adding a touch of tangy sweetness and aromatic herbs. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, you can create a delicious dish that is perfect as a side or even a light main course. Whether you’re grilling indoors or outdoors, this recipe offers versatility and allows for customization to suit your taste preferences. So fire up the grill, savor the smoky flavors, and enjoy the tender zucchini with its delightful balsamic glaze and fresh herb accents. It’s a wonderful way to savor the season’s bounty and elevate your summer meals.