The summer months yield lots of varieties of squash, from UFO looking patty pan squash to the attractive two-toned Zephyr squash. Without a doubt, the most common and easily attained summer squashes are the zucchini and the crook neck/straight neck yellow squash. Zucchini and yellow squash are available nearly all year around, but are best eaten during the summer.
It takes no time to cook zucchini and yellow squash and my favorite way is grilled or roasted. Both of the squashes are very tender when raw and can quickly be overcooked. To prevent overcooking, I prefer to cook them over high heat. High heat will give the outside enough color, while still keeping the interior firm.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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Roasting: Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a jelly-roll pan in the oven. Quarter 2 large zucchini and 2 straight neck yellow squash lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced thyme, 1 teaspoon chopped oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; toss. Place squash mixture on pre-heated jelly-roll pan; bake 20 minute or until tender.
Grilling: Preheat grill to high heat. Combine 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1 minced garlic clove in a medium bow; stirring with a whisk. Cut 2 large zucchini and 2 straight neck yellow squash lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Lightly spray squash with cooking spray. Grill squash 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Coarsely chop squash and add to lemon mixture; toss to coat.
How to Cook Zucchini 7 Different Ways
Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables. It's delicious in almost any recipe, whether fried, baked, or sautéed. It can even be used as a noodle substitute or sneakily added to a batch of chocolate cupcakes to give dessert a nutritional boost. Read on to learn how to cook zucchini using virtually any cooking method you can think of.
Zucchini is a garden and farmers market summer favorite, and it&aposs easy to end up with a bumper crop. To help you use up this veggie while it&aposs in season (unless you&aposre already planning to freeze extra zucchini), here are all the ways to cook zucchini—including roasting, sauteing, frying, grilling, and baking—so you can try new methods of cooking zucchini when you need to mix things up. The best way to cook zucchini depends on the flavor and texture you&aposre craving (grilled zucchini will have a smoky flavor broiled zucchini is super tender and speedy), so knowing how to cook zucchini squash a few ways means you satisfy your cravings and make the most of your veggies.
The more surface area you give your vegetables for grill marks, the more flavor you’re going to get. This also makes them easier to move around the grill. Here’s how to prepare them:.
- Bell peppers: Seed and quarter.
- Onions: Peel and quarter through the root.
- Yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplant: Cut lengthwise into meaty, steak-like rectangles.
- Cremini mushrooms: Remove stems and halve, if large.
- Asparagus: Trim the woody ends.
- Tomatoes: Buy small tomatoes still on the vine, if you can, and keep them intact so the stem acts as a handle for moving blistered tomatoes from the grill.
To prevent sticking, brush the vegetables with oil after slicing, and make sure your grill is very clean. An everyday olive oil is your best bet for both flavor and color on the finished vegetables.
Best-Ever Grilled Zucchini
Zucchini is one of our favorite vegetables to grill in the summer. Why? It's healthy, it's easy, and it cooks SO FAST. This recipe takes just 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish. Check out our tips below for perfect grilled zucchini every time.
Go For Smaller Zucchinis
The smaller the zucchinis, the smaller the seeds. Big seeds are less than desirable, so try to pick smaller zucchinis when you can. If they're especially small, you can halve them lengthwise. Easy prep, short cook time, and especially flavorful. Major win!
Go Crazy On The Seasonings
Grilled zucchini is a blank canvas&mdashyou don't have to stop at salt and pepper! We're keeping it pure and simple with some crushed red chili flakes and lemon zest, but don't be afraid to get wild with your favorite flavors. Add some crunch with toasted nuts or seeds, load them up with chopped or torn herbs, or add some pops of bright flavor with capers or citrus juice. The more, the merrier! You can also serve it up with a drizzle of dressing, like our homemade ranch or green creamy dressing.
Serve It ASAP
Zucchini tends to get a little mushy as it sits. If you're preparing a big meal on the grill, save the zucchini for last. (Perhaps while your grilled steak is resting.) As soon as it's off the grill, season and serve!
Made it? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!
Editor's note: This intro was updated to add more information about the dish on April 21, 2021.
Always start with a clean grill. While it's still cold, brush any food residue from the grates, then lightly coat a bunched-up paper towel with olive oil. Using tongs, wipe the oil onto the grill grates.
Don't overdo it — dripping oil can cause flare-ups and excessive smoke.
For a gas grill, turn the burners to high. For a charcoal grill, spread the hot coals evenly in the cook box. Close the lid and preheat for 15 minutes. This will burn off the oil and make the grill nonstick and very hot, about 500 degrees F. For charcoal grills, keep the lid vents open for air circulation.
While the grill preheats, prepare the vegetables. As we mentioned, vegetables like asparagus cook quickly. Toss them with a little olive oil, plus kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the asparagus on the grill perpendicular to the grates so they don't fall through.
Grill for about 4 minutes, occasionally rolling them across the grill with a metal spatula to brown on all sides. When the spears are lightly charred, tender and bright green, remove them from the grill. If they're cooking too quickly, move to a cooler area.
For the absolute best of a classic, everything-you-expect grilled steak experience, you simply can’t beat the New York strip. Now, there are a couple of simple details in this recipe that I think are worth emphasizing, mostly because—if you&aposre anything like myself and are oftentimes more of a recipe-skimmer—they𠆝 be easy to gloss right over when it comes time to actually put your meat to the fire. However, it’s in these small details that perfection is found.
First, remember that no matter how you’re cooking a steak, success starts at the market. When shopping, look for steaks that have a nice, even marbling of fat throughout, avoiding those that have a thick ribbon of fat going smack-down the center (you should only see that thick, white layer along the outside edge of your steak). You also want steaks that all look just about the same in fact, asking the butcher to cut your steaks to the exact weight/size specification called for in the recipe is going to make your life easier overall. That said, if you don’t have access to a butcher who’s willing to accommodate your custom needs. well, that sucks, but no worries. Just keep that meat thermometer handy when grilling to make sure you’re spot-on with your timing. Second, even if it seems like a frilly, extraneous step, don’t skip out on making the garlic butter and tying up a bundle of herbs to serve as your basting brush. Trust me, the results are more than worth the five whole minutes accomplishing both will require. Neither of these bold flavor-infusing elements are exactly secret tricks, but they’re hugely underutilized.
How to light a charcoal grill
Using a chimney starter to light charcoal:
Perhaps the best way of all to light a charcoal grill is to use a chimney starter, a commonly found metal cylinder with a handle that makes lighting coals a snap.
- Fill the chimney with the appropriate amount of charcoal, and place on the bottom grate of the grill. A standard chimney holds about 100 briquets, but you may not need that many, depending on what size you have.
- Add one or two sheets of newspaper to the bottom of the starter, following the instructions on the chimney. Light the newspaper in several spots. As the newspaper burns in the chamber below, the flames light the edges of the charcoal above. Peek through the vents of the chimney to check if the coals have started and the edges of the coals have turned gray.
- After 8-10 minutes, you might see the coals starting to glow through the vents and flames starting to flicker over the top layer of coals. Pour them out into a pile and wait until the coals are mostly covered in ash and gray in color. Then spread the coals out. The entire process takes approximately 15 minutes.
How to use lighter fluid to light charcoal:
If you have a chimney starter, you can forgo lighter fluid entirely you’ll be grilling with a cleaner taste and fewer chemicals. However, if you have no choice but to use lighter fluid, please use it carefully, following the instructions on the label.
- Pile the charcoal on the center of the bottom grate of the grill.
- Squirt lighter fluid onto the coals and light immediately. Never squirt fluid onto lit or burning coals.
- Coals are ready to use when covered with gray ash.
How to Grill Vegetables
An easy method adaptable to many big vegetables is to slice them into broad, thin lengths (think whole top-to-bottom planks) and toss with olive oil, salt, and chopped garlic or garlic powder. Simply grill over direct heat for four or so minutes on each side, or until the texture is right for you.
You can take a similar approach to smaller vegetables, like mushrooms. Skip the slicing and put pieces into a grilling pan or onto a skewer. Either move keeps smaller vegetables from toppling through the grill grates.
Once you&aposre finished grilling your vegetables using this method, layer on flavor with a homemade or store-bought sauce or condiment. Pesto. Romanesco. Vinaigrette. Sliver preserved lemon if you have some on hand and drape them on top. Sprinkle crushed toasted nuts for texture. Set grilled vegetables on a bed of yogurt or labneh, or lace them with a quick zigzag of balsamic crema. Most grilled vegetables have a whole lot of range and can benefit from some imagination.
Remember, too, that winter is citrus season. Grilled lemons can be incredible, especially as counterpoints to braised meats, roasts, and grilled vegetables that pick up some char.
Zucchini and summer squash are tasty, easy additions to any summer grill. This recipe is as much a technique as a recipe. Feel free to increase or decrease amounts, vary the type of oil, and add other seasonings. You can grill them halved or sliced.
How to Roast Vegetables in the Oven
Using a high temperature to roast vegetables is key so they caramelize on the outside. For all of our veggies, we keep the oven at 450ଏ. If the oven temperature is too low, the vegetables will overcook before achieving the desired browning.
A heavy 13x9-inch roasting pan ($37.99, Wayfair) works well for roasting vegetables, but you can also use a large baking pan ($15.99, Bed Bath & Beyond). To keep cleanup to a minimum, line the pan with foil. Place the vegetables that take the longest to cook in the pan. Do not crowd the vegetables or they will steam instead of roast. If you like, add 1 or 2 heads garlic with the tops trimmed off, several sprigs of thyme, and/or snipped fresh rosemary, oregano, or sage.
Seasoning the Vegetables
Toss the vegetables with a seasoned oil mixture (or just oil if you really want the veggie flavors to shine) to keep them from drying out and to flavor the vegetables as they roast. In a small bowl combine olive oil with lemon juice, salt, and ground black pepper. Drizzle the seasoned oil over the vegetables in the pan, tossing lightly to coat all of the vegetables. A basting brush also works to coat the vegetables with the oil.
How Long to Roast the Vegetables
Don&apost guess how long to roast vegetables in the oven. Use our guide. Roast longer-cooking vegetables, uncovered, about 30 minutes, stirring once. Remove the pan from the oven and add the vegetables with shorter cooking times. Toss to combine, then return to the oven. Continue to cook about 10 to 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and brown on the edges. The timings here are approximate and will depend on the vegetables you choose.