I recently realized my site was seriously lacking in vegetable side dishes. This is not because we aren’t consuming veggies here. It’s merely due to the fact that when I’m planning my posts, my mind seems to head toward quick and easy main dishes and of course, desserts. We’re always thinking about those desserts, aren’t we?
I’m working on rectifying that situation right now and I’m starting with one of my favorite methods for preparing zucchini – marinated in a seasoned balsamic vinegar/olive oil mixture and quickly grilled. It’s a super easy, delicious way to add more veggies to your diet.
All four of my boys have grown up eating and liking lots of different veggies. I never forced anything on them, but found that certain methods of preparation made veggies more agreeable to their palates. Grilling and roasting were two of the best, kid-friendly methods that were sure to please my kids. It worked like gangbusters and I now have a bunch of big grown, veggie lovin’ men.
I love, love love zucchini. It’s always available, super cheap, and exceptionally versatile. It becomes something completely different depending on how it is prepared. It can be baked, roasted, sauteed, fried, and in this case – grilled. Any way you slice it and any way you cook it, it’s one of my favorites.
You’ll need a two small zucchini for this recipe (ignore that 3rd one up there). I’m not talking about the monster sized zucchini growing out in the garden, I’m talking the small size available in the produce section of your grocery store. The small guys measure about 7″ to 8″ long.
The balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, Italian seasoning, and pepper create a simple marinade. The exact measurements are on the printable recipe below.
Wash and dry your zucchini, cut off the ends, and then slice them right down the center; lengthwise.
Slice each of the halves in half again, like so.
From two zucchini, you’ll end up with 8 long slices about 1/2″ thick.
Place the sliced zucchini in a zippered, plastic storage bag.
Pour the marinade over the zucchini, seal the bag, and move it around to distribute the marinade. Place the bag in the refrigerator for about an hour or up to 4 hours.
To grill the zucchini indoors, place a stove top grill pan over medium high heat and coat it lightly with olive oil. Grill the zucchini for a couple of minutes on each side until just fork tender. Don’t let it go too long or it will get mushy.
In warm weather months, this is a great one to do on your outdoor grill.
This is one substantial, “meaty” side that goes with just about anything and the long, grilled strips make for a really pretty presentation on your dinner plate.
Don’t forget to eat your veggies!
- 2 small (approximately 8") zucchini, washed and dried
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Slice the zucchini in half, lengthwise and then cut the pieces in half again. You will have 8 long slices about 1/2" thick. Place sliced zucchini in a gallon sized zippered plastic storage bag.
In a small mixing bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, Italian seasoning, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the zucchini, seal the bag, and move it around to distribute the dressing well. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 4 hours.
If grilling indoors, place stove top grill over medium-high heat. Lightly coat grill with olive oil and grill zucchini for approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side or till fork tender but not mushy. If grilling outdoors, prepare your grill and grill the zucchini with cover open as directed for indoor cooking.