(gluten-free, paleo, grain-free, easy side-dish)
And char-grilled it is. Or rather, maybe just charred. Karl and I like our food grilled hard! If you like your food with less
flavor black marks, by all means grill it less. You could even bake or sauté the zucchini…
In summer, our grill is indispensable. We use it more days than not. It heats up quickly and doesn’t heat the house, it doesn’t dirty any pans, plus it makes everything taste smokey and wonderful. I think a lot of people save grilling for weekends, parties, or special occasions, but to us its just another way of cooking.
This zucchini may look kind of fancy, but it really couldn’t be any easier. And in the summer after a long day in the garden, the barn, the field, or even the office- quick and easy is necessary.
Step 1: Grill Zucchini
Use a small, tender, fresh-from-the-garden zucchini for this. The two-pounder… you know, the one that got away? Save it for zucchini bread!
Cut the ends off of the zucchini and then slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Sprinkle the cut sides with a pinch of salt. Place the zucchini cut side down on the hot grill and cook for a few minutes or until starting to become tender. I always close the grill while waiting for them to cook. Once you have some nice grill marks, flip the zucchini over and grill the skin side as well.
Step 2: Oil, Pepper & Gouda
Place your grilled zucchini cut-side up on a plate and add a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a grind of black pepper (try this brand, it’s awesome!).
I had a great piece of local Gouda that I used for this, and it was fantastic. If it is finely grated and you place it on the zucchini in a timely matter after they come off the grill, it will melt. And melt = good.
If you’ve never had gouda, you should really try it! Its flavor is somewhat determined by its age, and a younger gouda is really mild and sweet. If you like cheese at all, you’ll like gouda, I’m sure of it.
Use as much or as little cheese as you like.
I’m from Wisconsin, so it’s probably not a mystery how much cheese I used.
Hint = a lot.
Step 3: Basil
This is what knocks it out of the park. Fresh basil from the garden, if you have it. I used two basil leaves per zucchini half. I like to roll up the leaves together into a little cigar shape and then cut them into thin strips. That would be “chiffonade” if you’re fancy. I’m fancy.
What would you serve this with?
It would be especially good with a main dish that had tomato sauce to round out the italian flavors. Like chicken or italian sausage with onions and marinara.
I can also see this on a plate next to a big ol’ steak. In fact, I might see that soon. Like tonight, for dinner!
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