Well, I tested out my new grill pan last night and I’m happy to report that it functions better than I imagined it would. I used it to grill the zucchini in the recipe I’m going to share below and it did a splendid job. I got the sought after “sear” marks and the zucchinis were actually cooked to perfection. Because of the ridges in the pan, the vegetables were cooked unevenly, giving them a range of very desirable textures. What a success.
Take a look at this photo. Tell me that doesn’t look great.
This is a very simple recipe. There are only two things that need to be cooked and both of them are extraordinarily straightforward. First is the toasting of the pecans. If you’re a follower of this blog, you already know how to do this. If not, I’ll explain it down below. Second is the grilling of the zucchini. That’s so easy too. You’re going to love this recipe.
The flavoring in this salad comes from only a few things. Salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Of course, you’ll taste the primary ingredients themselves, but what I just listed are the “enhancers.” The things that help bring out the flavors from the more prominent ingredients.
I think you’re going to enjoy this salad. It’s easy, doesn’t require much and can be put together fairly quickly. I made this last night as our dinner and it was no problem at all.
1/2 Cup Pecans, Gently Crushed
4 Medium Sized Zucchini, Trimmed and Sliced Lengthwise 3/8 Inch Thick
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Ground Black Pepper
4 Cups Mixed Baby Greens
4 Ounces Parmesan Cheese
Before I continue, I’d like to thank Yotam Ottolenghi for his incredible cookbook titled Plenty. I got my inspiration for this recipe from it. Many of his recipes are simple, yet elegant. That’s what I like about him so much. He also introduces a fair number of ideas I hadn’t yet considered, so browsing through this book is always a pleasure.
Toast the Pecans
Warm a small skillet over medium heat on your stove top. Then, once the pan is to temperature, add the crushed pecans, 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
As the pecans toast, be sure to keep them moving by flipping them in the pan. Once you begin to smell them toasting, remove the pan from the heat. They’re finished.
Prep the Zucchini
For the zucchini, trim both ends of each one. Then, slice the zucchini on the bias so they’re approximately 3/8 of an inch thick. Here’s a photo of some of mine.
Pre-Heat the Grill Pan
Warm up the cast iron grill pan by placing it over medium-high heat on your stove top. You’ll want to keep it there for about five minutes.
Toss the Zucchini in Oil
Next, place the sliced zucchini in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to them. Also add a few pinches of salt and a few pinches of pepper. Toss them until all the slices are coated with the oil.
Grill the Zucchini Slices
Next comes the grilling. Once the pan is nice and hot, place the zucchini slices into it. You won’t need to add any oil, since you already coated the slices with it. Also, since the pan is so hot, there will be some smoking. I just wanted to make you aware of that.
Let the first side of the slices cook for about two minutes. Then, use a fork to flip them and let the other side cook for another two minutes. They should look something like this.
You have to admit, they look good. In my opinion, anyway. I’m surprised at the results of this grill pan. I may be falling in love with it.
As you finish cooking the zucchini slices, place them back into the large bowl. Once they’re all there, add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to them and toss again.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the zucchini in the large bowl, then, add the mixed garden greens to them and toss everything well.
Plate & Serve
Divide the mixture between four plates. Then, sprinkle the toasted pecans over everything and add the Parmesan cheese as well. If you want, you can even drizzle some additional olive oil over the salads.
The Final Char-Grilled Zucchini Salads
I get so happy when a dish is easy to photograph. Sometimes, things don’t go my way. This time, it was as easy as it gets. I think it’s those grill lines. They make anything look better. Anyway, give this recipe a shot. If you like in-season summer vegetables, you’ll love this. Thanks for reading!