When the summer sun casts its warm glow, it’s time to fire up the grill and embrace the joys of outdoor cooking. Grilling isn’t just about meat; it’s an opportunity to celebrate the vibrant flavors of seasonal vegetables. In this culinary adventure, we’ll explore the art of grilling zucchini and yellow squash to perfection, and then elevate their natural essence with a touch of elegance through a Champagne vinaigrette. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a dish that marries simplicity and sophistication.
Grilling Zucchini and Yellow Squash:
A Symphony of Flavor
Zucchini and yellow squash, members of the Cucurbitaceae family, lend themselves beautifully to grilling. Their mild, slightly sweet flavors are enhanced by the smokiness of the grill, resulting in a medley that boasts both depth and freshness. The high heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars in these vegetables, creating a delicate balance of sweetness and savory notes that dance on the palate.
To prepare these delectable vegetables for grilling, simply slice them lengthwise into uniform pieces. A light brush of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and your zucchini and yellow squash are ready to be transformed into culinary masterpieces.
The Allure of Champagne Vinaigrette
Elevating a dish to a new level of sophistication often comes down to the art of dressing. Champagne vinaigrette, a marriage of light, effervescent Champagne vinegar with a touch of Dijon mustard, finely minced shallots, and high-quality olive oil, creates a dressing that is both luxurious and refreshing.
The Champagne vinegar adds a subtle, tangy brightness that complements the grilled vegetables, while the Dijon mustard acts as a binding agent, harmonizing the flavors. Shallots provide a delicate onion flavor, and the olive oil rounds out the vinaigrette with a luscious mouthfeel. The result is a dressing that enhances the inherent flavors of the dish without overwhelming them.
Crafting the Perfect Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Champagne Vinaigrette
Here’s a simple recipe to guide you in creating this elegant dish:
- 2 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
- 2 yellow squashes, sliced lengthwise
- Olive oil, for brushing
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Champagne Vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the Grill: Prepare your grill for medium-high heat.
- Grill the Vegetables: Brush the zucchini and yellow squash slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the slices for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they develop grill marks and are tender.
- Prepare the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the Champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously until the vinaigrette emulsifies.
- Assemble and Serve: Arrange the grilled zucchini and yellow squash slices on a serving platter. Drizzle the Champagne vinaigrette over the vegetables. Garnish with fresh herbs such as basil or chives for an extra burst of flavor and color.
- Enjoy: Serve the dish as a delightful appetizer, side dish, or even a light main course. The combination of grilled zucchini and yellow squash with the Champagne vinaigrette is sure to impress your guests and elevate your outdoor dining experience.
Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Champagne Vinaigrette is a testament to the harmony that can be achieved when simple ingredients are prepared with care and creativity. This dish celebrates the joys of grilling while embracing the elegance of a refined vinaigrette. Whether you’re hosting a summer soirée or enjoying a quiet dinner alfresco, this culinary masterpiece promises to tantalize your taste buds and elevate your appreciation for the art of outdoor cooking.
When summer rolls around and the farmers market is teeming with zucchini and yellow squash, there’s only one solution: grill it up! Grilled squash is one of the easiest side dishes you could possibly make. In this recipe I leveled up and combined the squash with briny sheets of feta, a simple garlicky vinaigrette, and then threw on some fresh basil and mint to serve.
The dish hits all the right notes: salty, herby, and just a little bit sweet. It’s a 20-minute sleeper hit!
Bowl of Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Champagne Vinaigrette with a Spoon Surrounded by a Drink on a Table
What to Look for When Buying Squash
Whether you’re buying your yellow squash and zucchini at the grocery store or the farmers market, there are a couple things you should keep in mind. You want to look for small or medium sized squash—larger squash tend to have bitter seeds and a more fibrous skin. Also, look for squash that is free of puncture marks, as they tend to go bad faster.
Grilled Squash on a Grill
What Kind of Feta Should You Use?
Buy the blocks of feta that come in a brine instead of the pre-crumbled stuff—it makes a big difference. The brined feta is going to be more moist and flavorful, whereas the pre-crumbled feta can be dry and hard. I promise it’s worth the couple extra seconds it takes to cut or crumble it yourself!
My Favorite Way to Repurpose Leftovers
I recommend making a double batch of this recipe and repurposing it throughout the week! It’s a great addition to a lunch quesadilla, or in a simple pasta for dinner.
Bowl of Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Champagne Vinaigrette with a Spoon on a Table
Grilled Vegetables to Make This Season
Grilled English Peas
Grilled Romaine Lettuce
Grilled Radicchio Salad
Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Champagne Vinaigrette
4 to 6 servings
For the squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
3 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise
For the vinaigrette
1 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
8 ounces feta cheese
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh basil leaves
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to 400 to 425°F
Season the zucchini and squash:
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, black pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash. Toss well to coat.
Grill the zucchini and squash:
Arrange the squash in a single layer on the grill and grill for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through using tongs.
Once grill marks appear on both sides and the squash is cooked, remove from the grill. (Slice the zucchini and yellow squash into 1-inch pieces if you desire). Transfer to a serving platter.
Make the vinaigrette:
While you’re grilling the vegetables, make the vinaigrette. In a small jar with a lid, add the lemon juice, champagne vinegar, olive oil, garlic, shallot, and salt and black pepper, to taste. Close the jar and shake vigorously until the vinaigrette is well combined, about 30 seconds. Set aside until ready to use.
Garnish and serve:
Crumble the block of feta on top of the grilled zucchini and yellow squash.
Garnish with fresh mint and basil leaves and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.