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Say it with us: No more squishy, bland summer squash! This year, we're flipping the script and marinating after grilling. Inspired by the technique called escabèche, where cooked fish and meat are preserved in an acidic mixture, we're cooking first, marinating second. In the case of squash, it produces maximum flavor without compromising char or texture. To ensure that the squash is crisp-tender, do pull it off the grill as soon as it's picked up some grill marks and a paring knife easily slips through the flesh.
- ½ cup plus 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 4 medium summer squash and/or zucchini, cut lengthwise ¼" thick
- 1 medium red onion, cut through root end into 8 wedges
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 8 oz. feta, crumbled into large pieces
- 4 banana peppers from a jar, thinly sliced crosswise
- Generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil grate. Whisk garlic, vinegar, and ½ cup oil in small bowl to combine; set marinade aside.
Toss squash, onion, and bay leaves on a rimmed baking sheet with remaining 3 Tbsp. oil to coat; season generously with salt and black pepper.
Arrange squash and onion on grate. Grill squash, undisturbed, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Turn over and grill on second side until tender and starting to release liquid, about 2 minutes. Transfer squash back to baking sheet. Grill onion, turning occasionally, until tender and charred around the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer back to baking sheet.
Arrange squash, onion, bay leaves, and feta on a rimmed platter and pour reserved marinade over. Scatter banana peppers on top and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Let sit at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour before serving.
Grilled Summer Squash and Red Onion with Feta - Recipes
2 each garlic clove, smashed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch dried chili flake (optional)
2 each summer squash, cut into 1 inch slices
1 each red onion, cut into 1 inch slices
6 cracks freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
For Balsamic Marinade:
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except olive oil. Whisk to combine.
2. Whisk together with olive oil. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Remove garlic cloves.
For Grilled Summer Squash:
1. Toss summer squash slices and red onion rings in vegetable oil, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Grill on the hottest part of the grill just until tender, about 2 minutes per side for squash, and 3 minutes per side for onions.
3. Remove vegetables from grill and place in a medium mixing bowl. Toss in balsamic marinade.
4. Transfer marinated squash and onions to a plate. Sprinkle feta cheese, pistachios, and torn basil over the top. Finish with coarse sea salt.
Notes about this recipe+ View Larger photo: Alex Lau
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I'm sure you can figure out how to rinse the squash in plain cold or lukewarm water.
Just take a sharp knife and cut of both ends - blossom and stem end (cut about 1/4 of an inch, or half the width of an average woman's little finger)
Slice into 1/8th inch thick slices.
Prepare quickly, (if you leave it sit cut for more than a half hour, it will start to discolor). Do enough squash for one blanching at a time.
Favorite kitchen tool: Mandolin
Do you have a mandolin? If not, you should. I use it so much in the kitchen, it’s one of my favorite tools. It slices veggies to the perfect size you are needing for a recipe.
Here’s the link to one that will fit your budget. Buy a mandolin, HERE.
Again, this tool makes salads AMAZING!
What is antipasto?
Antipasto is an Italian for “before food” and it’s typically the first course served in Italian cuisine. Traditionally, it’s a combination of cured meats, cheese, and olives but it can also be so much more than that.
This grilled vegetable antipasto platter is an assortment of veggies, olives, and goat cheese, all drizzled with a fresh dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil and salt and pepper. So simple, but so delicious!
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights&trade: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 17
Get detailed nutrition information, including item-by-item nutrition insights, so you can see where the calories, carbs, fat, sodium and more come from.
- My combination of zucchini, bell peppers and onion is my favourite. I enjoy the flavour combination and all three cook at roughly the same, fairly quick rate. Obviously, you can add other vegetables into the mix, if you like.
- I prefer to dry-grill my vegetables, meaning that I don't toss or brush with oil before grilling. I find this method produces the best results. After grilling is when I like to "dress" my veggies.
- You want to grill your vegetables in large pieces and do the chopping after. That way you can control the cooking more easily and nothing falls through the grates of your grill.
- When grilling, some of the vegetables may cook more quickly than others, depending on size and location on the grill. Have a clean plate handy next to the grill and remove pieces to the plate as they are done, leaving others on the grill to continue cooking as needed.
- I like to add a little green to my salad sometimes. Here I've used some micro arugula sprouts. Baby arugula is also nice to add, as an option. I don't think you'd go wrong with some fresh, chopped herbs from the garden, either.
- This salad is also delicious with crumbled goat cheese, in place of the feta, if you'd like to change it up a bit.
- Grilled vegetables are so versatile, so make extra to use for other dishes. Un-dressed grilled vegetables will keep in the fridge for several days, so they are perfect for another meal. See below for more ways to use grilled vegetables.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 small summer squash
- 1 each red and green bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 20 medium mushrooms
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (use less if preferred)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
Mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, thyme, and oregano together in a large plastic or glass bowl.
Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch thick circles.
Cut squash in half lengthwise.
Cut peppers into small squares.
Toss vegetables with oil mixture. Coat evenly. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Place everything on the hot grill grate. Cook 10 to 20 minutes, brushing remaining oil mixture over the vegetables every few minutes and turning to cook evenly. Remove vegetables from grill once they are tender.
Serve on a platter with feta cheese and olives for an appetizer or as a side dish to grilled meats.
Notes and Substitutions
Try this with your favorite grilled veggies! Fennel, onions, eggplant, etc.!
To add chicken, I recommend seasoning 2 small chicken breasts with oregano, garlic powder, and salt, coating with olive oil, and grilling for about 4 minutes per side. Allow to rest then thinly slice. See photo above!
Red wine vinegar: any vinegar! Balsamic is great here, but does make the salad kind of a dark ugly color!
Lemon juice: 2 more tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
Dijon mustard: tahini is a great swap for Dijon if you don’t like it! It serves the same job of making dressings thick and creamy.
Garlic powder: 1 garlic clove, grated.
Olive oil: I like using plain olive oil here so that the dressing isn’t too overpowering, but extra-virgin olive oil is OK too! Avocado, grapeseed, etc. oils all work too!
Squash, zucchini, red bell pepper: swap in whatever veggies you love to throw on the grill!
Spinach: arugula, but don’t chop it up. Romaine would also be great. I love iceberg lettuce with Greek salads, but if you want to use it here, make sure your veggies are totally cool first. Wilted iceberg is no bueno.
Tomato: cherry tomatoes work when tomatoes aren’t in season. They’re by far the best hothouse tomato!
Cucumber: thinly shaved raw fennel would be fab!
Red onion: don’t love raw onion in salads? I hear you. You could use 3 thinly sliced green onions instead, or just omit it!
Kalamata olives: any kind of olive, or omit!
Avocado: you already have a healthy fat from the olives, so just omit the avocado if you don’t have it! You could also add some toasted almonds or other nut for a healthy fat!
Feta cheese: goat cheese would be DELISH here. So would parmesan, shaved thinly with a vegetable peeler.
Fresh oregano and mint: they add so much fresh, wonderful flavor. But not worth buying just for this!