The Biggest Hit at the Party: Grilled Zucchini Salad with Mint & Red Chili

I just returned from a sizzling hot few days in the Midwest. Despite the heat, my family and friends relished delicious garden-to-table dinners under the moon's glow.

With my father's garden overflowing with vibrant veggies, there was no shortage of yummy, healthy eats. Many creative dishes were crafted, however, the biggest hit was simply zucchini tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper then grilled. Folks were eating it up like candy.

To whip up a quick BBQ side dish, just grill up some seasoned zucchini slices. If you want to take it up a notch, make this easy peasy recipe.


Grilled Zucchini Salad with Fresh Mint & Red Chili
This super simple, striking salad from Jamie Oliver always gets rave reviews and is a great way to enjoy an abundance of zucchini.

Health Benefits
A summer squash, zucchini is a good source of fiber, which lowers cholesterol, aids digestion, prevents constipation and maintains low blood sugar. It is also rich in Vitamins A and C, both disease-fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. High in potassium and magnesium, it can help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease and stroke.

Selecting
When selecting, look for zucchini that is heavy for its size and has shiny, unblemished skin. Very hard squash indicates it’s over-mature and will have hard seeds and stringy flesh.

Pick zucchini that is average size. Overly large squashes may be fibrous, while small ones may lack flavor.

Storing
Store unwashed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week (the sooner you eat, the better).

Recipe
This is quite an unusual salad and terribly simple to make. It's great because it's a nice little side dish that will go with things like mozzarella, goat's cheese, cured meats, grilled or barbecued white fish like cod or haddock, even things like chicken or pork.

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini
  • 1 red chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Slice zucchini lengthwise as thin as you can (use a mandolin if you have one).
     
  2. Grill on a red-hot griddle pan, or on the barbecue, until lightly charred on each side. 
     
  3. Scatter the slices over a large plate, making sure you don't sit them on top of each other otherwise they'll steam and go a bit limp.
     
  4. While the zucchini is still warm, sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
     
  5. Sprinkle the chili and garlic evenly from a height over the zucchini. (Add to your own taste, but just remember that when the chili and garlic mix with the olive oil and lemon juice the heat and flavors are lessened.)
     
  6. Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves and drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Dive in!

Source: Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef
 

Sweet Potato “Fries” – Two Ways

Swap greasy French fries for these nutrient-rich, super satisfying sweet potato fries.

Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamins A and C (calm inflammation, boost immunity) and are a good source of potassium (helps prevent heart disease and muscle cramps) and fiber (promotes healthy digestion). They also help regulate blood sugar. Eat with skin on for maximum nutrients.

Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.

Store in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to 10 days. Do not keep in the refrigerator.


Indian-Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 oz) sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Mix the spices together in a small bowl
  3. Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges, or into 1/4” rounds
  4. Toss potatoes with oil and spices in a large bowl
  5. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan (may need to use two pans)
  6. Roast for 20 minutes, flip over and roast for about another 10-20 minutes until tender and slightly golden


Spicy Sweet Potatoes Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (depending upon how spicy you want them)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Coarsely grind all the spices except the salt using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
  3. Stir in the salt
  4. Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges, or into 1/4” rounds
  5. Toss potatoes with oil and spices in a large bowl
  6. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan (may need to use two pans)
  7. Roast for 20 minutes, flip over and roast for about another 15-20 minutes until tender and slightly golden

Dive in!

Zucchini Salad with Mint & Red Chili

This super simple, striking salad from Jamie Oliver always gets rave reviews and is an easy way to enjoy an abundance of zucchini. I’ve modified the recipe slightly, mainly just replacing “courgettes” with “zucchini” for us North American folks.

A summer squash, zucchini is a good source of fiber, which lowers cholesterol, aids digestion, prevents constipation and maintains low blood sugar. It is also rich in Vitamins A and C, both disease-fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. High in potassium and magnesium, it can help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease and stroke.

When selecting, look for zucchini that is heavy for its size and has shiny, unblemished skin. Very hard squash indicates it’s over-mature and will have hard seeds and stringy flesh. Pick zucchini that is average size. Overly large ones may be fibrous, while those that are overly small may be inferior in flavor.

Handle this fragile veggie with care. Store unwashed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days (the sooner you eat, the better).
 

Zucchini Salad with Mint & Red Chili

This is quite an unusual salad and terribly simple to make. It's great because it's a nice little side dish that will go with things like mozzarella, goat's cheese, cured meats, grilled or barbecued white fish like cod or haddock, even things like chicken or pork. Use zucchini when at their best--nice and firm and not too big.

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini
  • 1 red chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Slice zucchini lengthways as thin as you can (use a mandolin if you have one).
     
  2. Grill on a red-hot griddle pan, or on the barbecue, until lightly charred on each side.
     
  3. Scatter the slices over a large plate, making sure you don't sit them on top of each other otherwise they'll steam and go a bit limp.
     
  4. While the zucchini is still warm, sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
     
  5. Sprinkle the chili and garlic evenly from a height over the zucchini. (Add to your own taste, but just remember that when the chili and garlic mix with the olive oil and lemon juice the heat and flavors are lessened.)
     
  6. Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves and drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Dive in!

Source: Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef