Grilled zucchini

This recipe allows both texture and sweetness while getting a good serving of vegetables. Cabarrus Health Alliance photo

Love, love, love vegetables, even more so with added texture. The best cooking methods for me, allow for texture and sweetness to be achieved when I’m cooking vegetables. That’s why I mainly roast or grill them. Something like zucchini works really well grilled. If you slice them thin, then brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle over a pinch of seasoning, then pop them on the grill, you transfer a pretty tasteless side dish into center stage. Better still, you add some lemon chive infused crème fraiche and that zucchini is now debuting his Oscar winning performance.

The power of the zucchini:

Zucchini possesses an impressive nutritional content – it boasts high levels of potassium, B-vitamins, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, which all offer immense benefits to your health. It can even potentially help regulate blood sugar levels, which can greatly benefit diabetics.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 large green zucchini, sliced into thin strips

1 large yellow zucchini, sliced into thin rounds

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, zest and juice of

1 handful fresh mint leaves

1 pinch chili flakes

1 cup Crème Fraiche

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons pine nut, toasted

4 cups arugula leaves

How to cook:

Toss the zucchini slices into a zip lock bag, pour in 2 tablespoons of oil, zip the bag and shake to cover each slice in oil. Then cook in batches on a very hot griddle pan for 2 to 3 minutes each side, until well colored but still crisp to the bite. Then place them into a medium size bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.

Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the lemon juice, mint and chili flakes.

Then pour the chili oil over the warm zucchini and allow the flavors to infuse for 30 minutes.

Combine the crème fraiche, chives and lemon zest, and season with sea salt.

Place the zucchini into a serving dish and dot with the chive crème fraiche.

Scatter over the pine nuts, arugula and extra chili flakes, and drizzle with any remaining chili oil and serve.

Chef Mark Allison

Mark Allison, Executive is Chef of Culinary Innovation at the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Check out www.cabarrushealth.org/cookingclasses for more recipes and a list of upcoming cooking classes with Chef Allison.

Mark Allison is Executive Chef of Culinary Innovation at the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Check out www.cabarrushealth.org/cookingclasses for a list of upcoming cooking classes with Chef Allison.  Want more recipes?  Visit www.chefmarkallison.com.

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