June 26, 2012

Grilled Zucchini and Corn Ribbon Salad

Photo by Alexa
We ekked out a driveway barbecue on Sunday in between the weekend's thunderstorms - in honor of new jobs, summer breaks for teacher friends, and finishing the Trek.

The menu was simple: grilled wings, Brats, and some side salads. I wanted to use grilled zucchini in a side dish, so when I found this zucchini ribbon salad, I was tantalized by the thought. I so loved the Zucchini Pasta Ribbons I'd made late last summer.

And while it seemed like a strictly summer meal, I did pick up zucchinis at the Farmers' Market last Wednesday. So I feel justified in veering into summer salad territory in late June.

I sliced the zucchini kind of thicker than I think the recipe specified for, so I left it on the grill a little longer. But really we're going for just past raw here. And grilling the boiled corn before cutting it off the cob added some more smokey flavors.

Just like the Ribbon Pasta dish, there's so many substitutions and add-ins that will play nice with the grilled, salty, lemony, and crunchy going on here.

Grilled Zucchini and Corn Ribbon Salad
Adapted from The Food Network

4 medium zucchini
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 ears of corn
Sliced almonds
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Juice of one lemon
Garlic clove, minced
6-8 big basil leaves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil

Wash and thinly slice zucchini. Use a mandolin slicer if you have one and slice to 1/4". If not, just slice thinly with a very sharp knife (admittedly easier with a mandolin slicer). Lay zucchini out on a platter (the same platter you serve the dish on!) and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Heat a grill pan* over medium-high heat and grill the zucchini on both sides for a few minutes, but 3 minutes max.

Move zucchini from heat onto platter and add corn to grill. Grill on all sides until grill marks appear. Remove from heat and let cool. While corn cools, make salad dressing.

Mix together juice of one lemon, garlic, chili flake, and basil in a small container with a lid (I used an 8oz. canning jar) and shake until combined. Taste and add salt if needed.

Cut corn off the cob and sprinkle over zucchini. Scatter almonds and Parmesan slices over top. Pour dressing over salad.

*I used a grill pan, before my guests arrived, but you can make this on the charcoal or outdoor gas grill too.