Zucchini is one of the tastiest Summer veggies! Especially when you grill it and then top it off with a tasty vegan mint pesto. The pesto is vegan because there's no cheese. But if you want to add some Parmesan, then go for it!
If you don't have access to a grill, you can easily sauté the zucchini in a cast iron pan on your stove.
- 1 pound zucchini (or any summer squash), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds -- if grilling, slice into long, thick strips
- 3 tablespoons (or less) olive oil, divided
- 3 small cloves garlic
- 10 (or more) mint leaves
- 5 (or more) basil leaves
- 1 heaping tablespoon capers, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 to 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar or white balsamic or whatever vinegar you have
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Additional mint and basil, torn, to garnish
Brush grill with some oil. Use tongs and carefully place zucchini on grill. Cover and cook, 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking on high, covered, 2 to 3 minutes more.
IF SAUTÉING ON THE STOVE:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half the zucchini and sauté, flipping and turning every few minutes, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Don't salt them yet! If you salt them too early, the salt will release the water in the zucchini making them a soggy mess. And you want them to develop a nice golden crust.
While your zucchini cooks, add the garlic, mint, basil and capers to a food processor. Pulse a few times. You want the mixture to still be a bit chunky and not too smooth.
When the zucchini is golden brown, remove it from the pan and cook the remaining zucchini in another tablespoon of oil, just as you did the first batch.
You may need to add another glug of olive oil to the pan.
When the second batch is golden brown, add the first batch back into the pan, along with the herb-garlic mixture and the vinegar, to taste.
Add a good pinch of salt, plus a few cracks of pepper.
Toss well. Add nuts. Scoop everything out onto a serving plate.
Right before serving, sprinkle on extra herbs.
From Food52, Deborah Madison