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Except for a few college years, I have always lived on a farm. Growing up, we spent every summer day outside, well after a little morning-time TV. Many times it was some cartoon watching, but pretty soon I found Martha Stewart Living and from then on I was hooked. Each morning I would watch what was probably a summer rerun but I soaked it all in. (How’s this for a flashback?!) Ok, I totally went down a rabbit hole of old Martha episodes while searching for that link. Back to the grilled zucchini…
After my Martha fix, I’d help Mom with whatever gardening was on the day’s schedule: hoeing, watering, planting, canning or shelling peas (which I think I got 25 cents a cup for). Sometimes I would help Dad move animals from one building to another, but its no surprise that I was always more comfortable in the garden.
In her garden, Mom kept perfect, weed-free rows full of delicious vegetables. We didn’t often experiment with new recipes but instead stuck to the standards that Mom knew were good. Usually, our zucchini was made into a frittata or what we affectionately called “zucchini rounds”: little pancakes with Parmesan cheese and onion. Those. Were. Good.
Nowadays I love to find new ways to use the bounty my zucchini plants produce. This unique vegetable can take on almost any flavor you add to it, which is exactly why I love to grill it. The added flavor is multiplied with a basil dressing that would make anything edible. The way I eat today has changed, but the fact that I always have an abundance of zucchini has not!
Let me know in the comments below what vegetables you love to grill during the summer. I’m always looking for more inspiration!
If you like this recipe, you’ll love these other fresh-flavored recipes:
- asparagus, radish, and sugar pea salad
- curry, broccoli, and cauliflower Salad
- vinaigrette roasted asparagus
Watch how to make this grilled zucchini salad
Grilled Zucchini & Onion Salad with Basil Dressing
For the salad
- 2 lb zucchini (approx. 3 small)
- 1 medium red onion
- ½ lb cherry tomatoes
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 6 oz roasted red peppers
- 6 oz feta crumbled
For the dressing
- ¾ cup basil leaves loosely packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
For the salad
- Cut off the ends of the zucchini and halve lengthwise.
- Cut the ends of the onion and remove the outer layers.
- Brush both the zucchini and onion with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Preheat grill on high heat. Once heated, add the zucchini and onion, cut side down and grill until charred and slightly softened, 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the grill and allow to cool 20 minutes.
- Once cool enough to handle, cut the zucchini in bite-size pieces, about ¼ inch thick. Slice the onion thinly and add both to a large bowl.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and allow to drip dry in a colander. Then add to the salad.
- Dice the roasted red peppers add to the salad.
- Stir to combine all the vegetables.
For the dressing
- Add the basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt. and pepper to a blender, food processor or immersion blender-safe container.
- Blend until smooth and taste for seasoning.
- Pour dressing over prepared salad.
- Stir and crumble on feta cheese.
- This can be made up to one hour before serving with dressing. If making a day in advance, leave the dressing off and add before serving.