Grilled zucchini is a simple side dish, right? What if I told you that your zucchini could steal the show? Let this daring recipe add an element of surprise to your dinner table. It’s the perfect summer-to-fall dish that combines the bright, lightly floral notes of mint and lavender with the satisfyingly smoky undertones of toasted hazelnut. The next time you get a chance to cook with zucchini, consider leveling up with this delectable recipe.
- 3 medium zucchinis
- 3-4 fresh mint sprigs
- ¼ cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon lavender buds and/or leaves, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced chives or sliced scallion
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
4 – 6
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat. If using a stovetop grill pan, raise to medium-high heat.
Use a knife or mandolin to thinly slice the zucchinis lengthwise about ¼ inch thick. Arrange the zucchini ribbons on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Gently blot any water released with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Toss zucchini ribbons with 2-3 teaspoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and lightly charred in spots.
In a small mixing bowl, create the citronette dressing by whisking together lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and chives or scallion. While whisking, slowly stream in olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, arrange zucchini on a serving dish and drizzle the dressing lightly over top. Garnish with leaves from mint sprigs and hazelnuts.
More Tips from Chef Marissa Lippert
What was the inspiration or idea for this recipe?
I happen to love the combination of lavender, mint and zucchini. Something about it just really works and adds an interesting twist to a simple grilled vegetable dish. It’s rare you see lavender used for savory meat or vegetable dishes, but the flavor really works well when paired correctly!
Can zucchini be substituted for summer squash?
Absolutely! Summer squash has a comparable texture to zucchini and will pick up the savory, sweet notes just as well.
How does cooking this recipe on a grill compare to roasting in the oven?
The grill adds a depth of flavor and smokiness, but you’ll still get great flavor from roasting. Both methods bring out the subtle sweetness of zucchini when it caramelizes and browns around the edges.
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