Cilantro Marinated Grilled Zucchini

Here’s another recipe for all the zucchini that stares at you on your counter-top because you cannot keep up with cooking all the harvest.

Skip the tutorial, print the recipe, and get a-cookin’: Cilantro Marinated Grilled Zucchini

I’ll be using my double burner indoor grill pan for this recipe, but it would be pretty uh-mazing if you did cook the zucchini over a BBQ.

First off, I have to make a disclaimer.  Every time I use my grill pan, my fire alarm goes off from all the smoke, so I have to take a few precautionary measures.  Does this happen to anyone else when they use an indoor grill pan?  It happened at my last apartment too, and I wonder what on earth am I doing wrong?

First, I have to open up all the windows to the kitchen and dining room.

Second, I take out our trusty Hawaiian Breeze fan that is about the size of a small watermelon, but packs a punch.  This is the best fan we own.  I’ve nicknamed it Napoleon, small but effective.

Third, I position Napoleon (the fan) towards the grill pan and the stove vent-fan.

Fourth, I get our stove’s fan going.  It’s not a true vent, just recirculates the smoky air.  I’d like to give whoever invented that a gold star (sarcasm).

Fifth, I open up the garage door.

Here’s the set-up.  Notice the strategy to use Napoleon to divert smoke away from the evil smoke detector.

I can’t believe I just showed an open doorway to our garage online.  It could be worse, I suppose.

Slice up your zucchini into either length-wise or width-wise pieces, depending on your preferences.  Normally I cut mine along the length, but I had a 10-pound zucchini that I forgot about while we went on vacation to Seattle, and I went the circle route.  Eventually it’ll all get cooked and chopped and deliciously marinated.

After all this prep, then I get a-grillin’.  Preheating the grill pan is necessary, but once it’s ready, the process moves quickly.

Make sure to put oil on the zucchini to get grill marks and make sure they don’t stick- not a pretty sight.

Make a single layer, packing the slices in like sardines.  You’ll still have to do a second batch most likely, more if you have a single burner grill pan.

We’ll cook these on the hot grill pan for about 4 minutes on each side.  DON’T TOUCH!!  We want those enticing grill lines all over the zucchini for taste as well as color-interest.

After about 4 minutes, flip to the other side and cook another 4-5 minutes until cooked through but the squash maintains a slight crunch.  Repeat grilling the rest of the zucchini.  Set the grilled zucchini aside to rest while you prepare the marinade.

You’ll need a food processor or a blender.  And these ingredients: 2 bunches of cilantro, a couple sprigs of Italian parsley, 1 lemon, and 4 cloves of garlic (come on, don’t be shy from flavor).

Remove the tips of the cilantro stems.  Not too much, the stem flavor balances the exuberance of the leaves.

Rough chop these.

Rough chop the parsley.  Add cilantro, parsley and 4 minced garlic cloves to a food processor.  Also grate in the lemon zest and squeeze the juice in.

Pulse 20 some-odd times to break up the greens.  It’ll look like this.

Now we’re going to smooth it out a little bit more.  Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.  Pulse until desired consistency.

Pour the marinade into a large bowl.

Chop up your cooled grilled zucchini and drop into the marinade.

Mix well.  With hands optional.  Let marinate at least 1 hour.  This dish makes a flavorful side and a drop-everything-and swoon topping for any salad.  There’s no need for dressing as the marinade has plenty of flavor and salad green coating capacity.


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