Zucchini is my go-to veggie for the grill. The way it browns and softens over the coals makes it irresistible in both looks and taste. I've always thought a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes is all you need to make it perfect, but recently wanted to expand on the classic. I introduced some new flavors with Parmesan cheese and garlic chili oil (my Sauced column this week) which only left me loving it more.
I grilled the oiled, seasoned squash over a direct, high heat (the normal grilling routine). Once the first side browned, I flipped the zucchini then topped it with the Parmesan and covered it until it was soft and the cheese melted. Off the grill, the zucchini gets a drizzle of garlic chili oil. Then time to enjoy!
Despite the additions, the zucchini still took center stage. The Parmesan added a nice nuttiness and the garlic chili oil gave it just the right kick and hint of garlic, but both were pretty mellow compared to the cooling properties of the green squash. The is a winner as far as grilled veggie recipes go.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Brush zucchini all over with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, cut side down, and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip zucchini and top each with Parmesan cheese. Cover grill and continue cooking until zucchini is softened and cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes more.
Remove zucchini to platter. Let cool for 3 to 5 minutes, then drizzle with garlic chili oil and serve.