To me, zucchini represents the abundance of summer, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. It's also one of the reasons why I like to eat it during spring. I'm so anxious for summer to arrive with the warm weather and leisurely evenings of eating outdoors, that I just can't wait. Lucky for me that I can find good organic zucchini all year round in my market.
Let's be honest though, zucchini doesn't have much distinct flavor on its own. That actually can be a good thing as it lets the other flavors its paired with take center stage. This also makes it an incredibly versatile vegetable. It's liked by most everyone and there are a zillion yummy ways to prepare it.
I'm sharing one recipe here that's a simple side dish for almost anything. Grilling enhances the natural flavor and pleasant texture of the zucchini itself. It also pairs very well with oregano and this is a nice way to use all those fresh, green stalks of oregano emerging in my garden now.
Grilled Zucchini with Oregano & Feta:
Yields 4 servings
3 medium zucchini, about 1 #
2 TB fresh oregano, roughly chopped
2 oz Feta cheese, crumbled (French sheep's milk Feta preferred)
2 TB pine nuts, toasted
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1) Preheat a gas grill to 450 degrees. Slice the zucchini on the bias into about 1" thick x 3" long pieces. Sprinkle them with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the zucchini around in the salt, pepper, and oil to coat well.
2) Place the zucchini on the grill and cook on one side, about 2-3 minutes, until well seared and they lift off the grill easily, without sticking. Flip them over and cook on the other side, about 2 minutes more until grill marks are present and they are cooked through but still a bit crisp.
3)Arrange them on a serving platter and sprinkle with the fresh oregano. Crumble the feta over top, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and drizzle with a touch more olive oil and a bit of salt & pepper. Enjoy!