Tender fleshed, mild flavored summer squash takes on a delicious smoky, caramelized taste when grilled. Buy ones that are bight-colored, free of spots and bruised and use within 5 days when stored in a plastic bag in the frig.
- 1½ lb. assorted summer squash, trimmed, sliced diagonally into ½ inch thick oval slices
- Kosher salt
Use prepared pesto or:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves packed
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. pine nuts – toasted (watch carefully – they burn easily)
Prepare any version of a grill (gas, charcoal or stove top grill pan). Toss squash with 2 tsp. kosher salt in a colander and drain for 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Place basil, cheese, ¼ cup olive oil ½ tsp salt in a food processor and puree till smooth. Or use prepared pesto.
In small saucepan, over medium-low heat, boil balsamic vinegar until syrupy – reduced to about 2 Tbs. liquid – about 5-8 minutes. Toss squash with 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, 3 grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Grill squash, turning one time till golden and tender – about 7-12 minutes. Arrange squash on platter. Dot with pesto, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic syrup to taste. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Adapted from Fine Cooking May 3, 2012