A fresh twist on summery caprese salad with grilled zucchini and a balsamic reduction drizzle. Colorful, healthy, quick and easy. Serve alongside your favorite grilled meats and fish!
It’s a good thing I’m finally starting to appreciate summer in Austin, because we are IN IT. Mosquito bites, frizzy-humid-mess hair, and standing with my head in the freezer are all daily occurrences.
But, with my summer survival techniques also come the easy days that make it all worth it. Like submerging neck-high in a swimming pool, swaying to an acoustic concert in the grass, and lounging on a breezy patio with an icy cold cocktail. The best part of this sweltering Southern season, though? Simple, seasonal cooking with fresh summer produce.
I really wanted to be naughty and fry the zucchini with panko crumbs. But, my pool lounging attire reminded me that we best be TRYING to keep it healthy around here. So, I grilled it for you. And oh my, holy delicious.
Caprese salad is my favorite summertime fling, and we see each other more often than I’d like to admit. But, that’s exactly why I love to change it up. Keep it interesting. Add more veggies – eggplant, cucumber, avocado. And then smother them in a good olive oil, balsamic, basil, flaky salt, and a few cracks of fresh pepper.
There is nothing better.
I was recently enamored with the idea of tossing in my second favorite summer vegetable, zucchini. And it was a match made in heaven. It’s amazing how these flavors sing with such simple seasonings!
Caprese salad is so versatile, too. Serve it as a stand-alone vegetarian meal, or alongside your favorite grilled meats. Add a bit of prosciutto and fresh sliced melon to brighten the flavors even further. I love to add a squeeze of lemon and minced garlic, too.
You can even stack this salad for an easy yet elegant presentation. If you want to get fancy pants, that is.
However you dish it, you’ll love it!
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Salad
Yield: Makes 4 side dish servings / 2 main dish servings
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium zucchini, sliced
3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced
8-10 slices fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and/or balsamic reduction
Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of zucchini slices with olive oil. Place on hot grill and cook, flipping once, 4-5 minutes, or until slightly softened and browned. Remove to a plate.
On a large platter, arrange overlapping sliced tomatoes, zucchini and mozzarella. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and/or balsamic reduction.
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and minced garlic is also delicious in this salad.