Zucchinis are widely available but no one seems to take them home to make delicious grilled zucchinis at my place. Remember, you never need an excuse for eating healthy once in a while, and of course, a reason not to do it deliciously.
Since the flavor of this dish is strong, yet not over seasoned like spiced-rubbed ribs, it’s ultimately crucial to choose the right ingredients. Take me with you to the grocery to do so and I guarantee you’ll have the tastiest grilled zucchini dish ever.
Lemons or limes?
I’m sure most people can decide just by looking at citruses. As they get smaller in size, the taste gets sourer. That’s why pomelo juice won’t work in this recipe. It’s too sweet to be the source of our acidic sauce.
With that said, lime is more frequently used than lemon in Mexican food like tacos and guacamole. Other than a noticeable difference in nutritional values, lime gives off a stronger, zingier taste than mild lemon.
So, in this dish, we don’t recommend lime as it’s too sour. Lemon is less sour, so if you decided to use lime, use just half the amount required compared to lemon.
Also, to those thinking of using vinegar, you should know there is a clear distinction in aroma between the two. To dishes requiring lemon or lime as nothing more than an acidic agent like soup, it’s okay to use vinegar as a substitute. However, the smell that vinegar gives off isn’t as pleasant as lemon or lime. Without any ingredient to mask the smell, it will ruin the dish.
As a second important ingredient on our list, garlic should not be taken lightly.
There are two main kinds of garlic you might come across in markets:
- Hardneck garlic: those with a vivid, thick stalk in the middle of the bulb. They are strong, somewhat spicy or hot and packed with flavors. Also, they’re rosy on the outside, which signifies a delicious must-have.
- Softneck garlic: those without a stalk and comprises of more cloves than hardneck garlic. These babes are perfect for eating raw or lightly cooked as the flavors are not as strong. It depends on your taste to either get something strong, or mildly garlicky.
In this recipe, we used hardneck garlic as it’s lying around on our kitchen, and we totally got blown away. However, if you’re not a fan of strong garlic taste, do purchase softneck garlic instead.
Butter or Margarine?
There’s no reason to hate butter unless you’re vegan. It’s creamy, fragrant and basically gives the definition to the word “buttery”.
But… if you’re vegan, which we do respect, margarine should be the first option to think of. As quoted from Mayoclinic.org:
“… Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains “good” fats — polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These types of fats help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, …”
However, do make sure the percentage of Saturated fat stays low on the nutritional values description. Apparently, there are “bad” kinds of margarine that are even worse for your health than butter.
Some say nothing substitutes butter. Butter browns during caramelization. Hold that thought sister, because margarine does brown when cooked. Other than a few minutes longer it takes to brown, it’s a great substitution to butter.
Everyone knows grilling gives the signature grill marks, adding that charred flavor to the veggies. No baking, I must say. Zucchinis don’t get crispy when cooked with heat, so putting them in the oven does cook them, but leaves no deliciously burnt marks.
Also, cooking it on the BBQ grill isn’t efficient. As zucchinis cook, they get wilted and can easily slip off the grilling rack. It’s best to use a grill pan.
How To Make Grilled Garlic Lemon Zucchini
Grilled Garlic Zucchini Recipe
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 medium zucchini cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Whisk together olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and lemon juice in a bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix zucchini slices and the sauce in a bowl. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the zucchini slices in a single layer (no overlapping). Cook for 2 minutes on both sides until charred marks appear and the slices are tender.
- Serve immediately and garnish with parsley if desired.