Grilled zucchini is tender crisp and juicy with a smoky flavor that adapts well to many cuisines. The key to flavorful grilled zucchini is the marinade. Zucchini has a mild, neutral flavor on its own. The marinade is what makes this a flavorful side dish for a summer or early autumn meal.
Make grilled zucchini with the summer squash that misses your initial inspection. The best zucchini for the barbeque grill is 11 to 14 inches long. I prefer Romanesco Zucchini for this recipe. I think the flesh is firmer, less watery than Black Beauty Zucchini, the standard variety grown for market. This one grows well in my colder zone 3, short season garden and keeps producing till frost kills the vines. When sliced for grilled zucchini the rounds have decorative scallop edges. But any summer squash or even immature pumpkins will work in this recipe. We tried this recipe with immature Rouge Vif D’ Etampes pumpkins and it was just as nice, although not as pretty as the scalloped edges of Romanesco Zucchini.
The marinade, like a salad dressing, should be 2 parts extra virgin olive oil and 1 part acid, like balsamic vinegar, lemon, or lime juice. When using citrus juices, add the zest as well for extra richness of flavor. Add garlic, herbs. and spices according to your taste or the abundance of your herb garden.
Why extra virgin olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, the antioxidants that fight free radical damage, improve your heart health, stablize your blood sugar, and fight cancer. It is a stable oil that doesn’t go rancid easily, due to the high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols in the oil. Quality EVOO is stable at high temperatures. Unlike other liquid oils, it is safe for grilling and frying. (I use Galilee Green Extra Virgin Olive Oil in this recipe. Galilee Green Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes directly from the growers in Northern Israel. It is made from a blend of olive varieties that give it a fruity, mild flavor with only a slight bitterness. I buy it by subscription.)
While coconut oil is also safe at high temperatures and boasts a long storage life, coconut oil is not liquid at room temperature, so is useless as a marinade.
Other oils that say they are safe at cooking temperatures like grape seed oil or canola oil, will break down at the high temperatures of the barbeque grill. With their high iodine numbers, these oils are not shelf stable and need chemical treatments to prevent or mask rancidity. Avoid using them in any food application. They lack the health benefits of EVOO and may even be dangerous to consume regularly. I won’t bring them into my kitchen.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best oil to use for salad dressings, marinades, and quick stir fries.
Premade ailoi adds both the olive oil and the flavor in this marinade. (I used this recipe and made it from scratch with EVOO and fresh garlic from my garden). A little salt, lime juice, and lime zest plus fresh oregano, chives, and thyme from the garden, makes it perfect. If I was serving this with lamb I’d substitute fresh mint in place of the oregano.
You can easily create your own marinade by using 1 part olive oil and 1/2 part acid, plus salt and fresh herbs. Use what you have from the garden and let your imagination loose.Print
Grilled Zucchini Marinated in Aioli and Lime Juice
An easy to make grilled vegetable dish that makes use of the prolific zucchini plant and tastes amazing. Even folks who say they don’t like courgettes or zucchinis will enjoy these grilled zucchinis.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes + 3 hours
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Category: Grilled vegetables
- Method: Barbeque
- Cuisine: North American
- 2 — 12 to 14 inch long zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon aioli sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest from 2 limes
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Wash zucchinis. Remove the stem and blossom ends. Discard in compost.
- Slice zucchinis into 3/4 inch thick slices. Place in a 3 quart bowl.
- Prepare the marinade by adding olive oil, lime juice and zest, and fresh or dried herbs and spices to a 1 cup measuring cup. Pour over zucchini slices in the bowl.
- Stir to cover all sides of the zucchini slices with marinade. Cover the bowl with a lid, a sheet of beeswax wrap, or a piece of plastic wrap, to protect the zucchini slices from drying out in the air.
- Set aside to marinate for 3 hours. Stir the zucchini slices in the marinade occassionally during the marinating period.
- Preheat the barbeque grill for 10 minutes to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed. Stir the zucchini slices in the bowl, so that the slices sitting on the bottom are now on the top of the bowl. Place these zucchini slices on the grill first.
- Grill on each side for 3 to 5 mintues. The actual time will vary depending on how hot your grill is. Turn the slices over when the char lines are pale brown. Grill on the remaining side.
- Using a heat proof pastry brush, baste the marinade on the second side of the zucchini before turning the slices over.
- Dredge the remaining slices of zucchini through the marinade on both sides, before placing them on the grill. Grill them as you did the first slices. Repeat until all the zucchini is grilled on both sides and is tender crisp, succulent, and smokey.
- Serve hot or cold.
Grilled zucchini goes well with tzatziki sauce, sour cream, or ranch dip.
Keywords: Grilled Zucchini, Zucchini Recipes, Summer Squash Recipes,
More Zucchini Recipes
Still have too many zucchini? Try drying it in your food dehydrator using these tips. Once it’s dried you can add it to winter soups and stews. It doesn’t add much flavor but it adds a lot of nutrition and bulk.