Summer’s here! My CSA is kicking serious booty and the produce at my local farmers market is bangin! Summer is my favorite season of the year. My anniversary, birthday, and husband’s birthday all occur over the next few steamy months, but most importantly [wink]…the veggies are KILLER. And, hello!, tomatoes are just around the corner! That means my love affair with fresh bloody marys will soon begin again. Swoon.
My CSA box last week was abound with summer squash and basil (along with kale, cilantro, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, kohlrabi, and salad mix!). I’ve also got loads of garlic scapes from the CSA and market which I’ve been using for a lot of pestos, sauces and veggie sautees. I knew the summer squash was destined for the grill – grilled squash is superb! – but I wanted to jazz it up a bit and use up some of the basil and garlic scapes, but not in the usual pesto. I happened to have mint and lemons hanging around in the fridge, so I decided to make a gremolata to top the grilled squash.
Gremolata is an herb condiment typically made with lemon zest, garlic and parsley. You don’t need to lug out the food processor for it, just chop everything really fine. Gremolata is different than pesto in that it doesn’t use as much oil, doesn’t contain nuts or seeds, nor cheese like pesto typically does. But, similar to pesto, you can put it on just about anything or use up leftovers by turning it into a vinaigrette (just whisk in white wine vinegar, a little more oil and some dijon mustard). This recipe makes extra gremolata specifically for that reason…you’ll want leftovers!
Grilled Summer Squash w/ Basil - Mint Gremolata
(makes about 3/4 cup)
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon course salt
few grinds of black pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)
In a small bowl, add the basil, mint, lemon zest and juice, and garlic scapes; stir well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Let sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes while you prepare the squash; this allows the flavors to meld.
Grilled Summer Squash
7 small to medium summer squash (I used green zucchini and zephyr)
salt & pepper
basil – mint gremolata (recipe above)
Heat a grill to medium. Trim the ends of squash then cut in half lengthwise. Lay the squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Flip over and repeat on the other side. Place the squash cut side down on the grill and grill for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Flip over and grill another 5 – 10 minutes. Remove the squash from the grill and serve with the Basil – Mint Gremolata. Enjoy!