Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gentlepeople, start your barbecues!

Memorial Day marks the start of grilling season, though in Colorado we definitely go for the extended season, starting whenever we don't need mittens to hold our grilling tools and going well into the fall. I have grilled my Thanksgiving turkey, for instance.

But, as this weekend is the unofficial start of summer, this is when, collectively, we start cooking everything outside.

I offer a very simple grilled zucchini salad. The method is from Jamie Oliver. He doesn't think you should ever oil up the vegetables before putting them on the grill. I've done it both ways, and I do think that the zucchini takes on more of the smokey flavor if you don't oil it. And, that's a good thing, particularly for zucchini, which is pretty blah on its own.

Grilled Warm Zucchini Salad
(serves 4)

4 medium zucchini, stem end removed
1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into quarters
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and black pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, or oregano

Slice the zucchini about ½" thick the long way. Much thicker and it takes too long to cook. Much thinner and it dries out. Grill zucchini and red pepper over high heat with no oil until you get nice grill marks on both sides of the zucchini and the pepper is softened. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Dress with oil and vinegar and season with salt and black pepper. Add in chopped herbs and toss. Can be served warm or cold.

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