grilled zucchini
What better way to take advantage of that profusion of zucchini than this delicious summer dish?

Summer is here and that means a proliferation of zucchini. After all the zucchini bread and zucchini pasta sauce you can stand, you may be looking for new ways to punch it up. This light and flavorful salad might just be the answer.

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We've taken the freshness right from the garden with "from the vine" zucchini and fresh herbs. Then we added just a few more bright and summery flavors that really bring this dish alive. Grilling the zucchini slices just a bit will add some real depth and unexpected taste to your dish. As a caution, be sure if you are grilling inside to start your exhaust vent from the beginning. This process will create some smoke.

salad ingredients
Toasted sunflower seeds and fresh garden basil give this salad crunch.

Serve this dish alongside some grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal. It is best served at room temperature.

grilled zucchini
Grilling brings out the flavor of garden-fresh zucchini.

The ingredients:

  • 6 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower kernels, toasted
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
grilled zucchini salad
Your garden on a plate.

The method:

  1. Toast sunflower kernels in a non-stick skillet for just a few minutes over medium heat. Set aside to cool.
  2. Chop the fresh herbs.
  3. Slice zucchini lengthwise with a vegetable peeler. Discard the very outer slices.
  4. Add a bit of olive oil to a shallow bowl and use it to just coat the slices of zucchini.
  5. Place a grill pan over very high heat and allow it to get smoking hot.
  6. Place zucchini slices on grill pan in batches. Cook for only about 30 seconds on each side. Do not move the strips while cooking. If you do, you will lose those lovely grill marks.
  7. After cooking on both sides place the zucchini on some paper towels until you are ready to assemble.
  8. Toss cooled zucchini and herbs together. Sprinkle with goat cheese and sunflower kernels.
  9. Prepare the dressing by placing all ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until smooth and creamy. Drizzle lightly with dressing. Add salt and pepper as desired.
toasted sunflowers
Toast sunflowers for an intense, nutty taste.

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