I loved grilled vegetables almost as much as I love grilled meats. But finding the perfect marinade can be a challenge. It has to be distinctive while at the same time complimentary to the main dish. And it has to be effortless—when the warm weather hits, who has time to scour markets for obscure spices to be used only once or twice? Above all, a good grilling marinade must be versatile enough to stand up to all of summer's bounty, from spring asparagus to end-of-the-season zucchini.
For this week's Magazine Recipe Review I prepared the Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash from the June issue of Everyday Food. To be honest, I was intending to make something else, but last Saturday night the grill was going and I realized that I had all the ingredients for this simple dish on hand—and when it comes to building a repertoire of great, no-fuss recipes, isn't that always a good sign?
For this dish, sliced zucchini and yellow squash are tossed with a simple combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. After grilling, the vegetables are dressed with the reserved marinade for an added boost of flavor. The results were terrific. The extreme heat of the grill intensified the mild flavor the vegetables and caramelized the balsamic vinegar. While I'm not usually a fan of dried herbs (why not use fresh?) the oregano added a lovely, mild aromatic note. Best of all, this recipe is extremely flexible. We made it again the next night with mushrooms, and drizzled the last bit of marinade over ears of corn.
- 4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds total) sliced lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick
- 4 medium yellow squash (about 2 pounds total) sliced lengthwise1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
Heat grill to medium. In a large bowl, gently toss zucchini, yellow squash, oil, vinegar, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary, lift vegetables from marinade and grill, covered, turning once, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Reserve marinade. (To store, refrigerate vegetables and remaining marinade separately, up to one day.) Drizzle grilled vegetables with remaining marinade and serve.