Monday, August 9, 2010

Grilled Zucchini with Chive (or scallion) Oil

I wanted to share this recipe not only because it is a simple and tasty summer dish, but also as a way to introduce and recommend one of my favorite cooking magazines. I know that not everyone enjoys reading recipes quite as much as I do but all the people that I have shared this magazine with have liked it a lot- regardless of their interest in cooking. It comes out every two months and it has a very seasonal focus. The recipes are unique and different but very accessible. They also have a recurring section called “cooking without recipes” where they introduce a simple method (this month it was potato salad) and then offer endless ingredient combinations for you to experiment with. I don’t like creamy saladed things so I usually hate potato salad, but one of the variations they came up with was artichoke, black olive, and mint potato salad with a lemon vinaigrette that I actually might try!

This issue also included an article about zucchini (my favorite summer vegetable) where I found the recipe for grilled zucchini with chive oil. I have been grilling quite a bit of zucchini this summer and I am by no means sick of it. But this recipe intriugued me because of its simplicity. The walnut oil adds amazing depth of flavor and the recipe suggests using left over chive oil to drizzle on fish, lamb, eggs, etc. Unfortunately when I was shopping for ingredients yesterday, I couldn’t find chives at the market in Chelan. I had scallions at home so I used that instead. It was delicious but I would still like to try it with chives as well.

Grilled Zucchini with Chive Oil
Recipe from Fine Cooking
Makes 4 servings

About 6 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 lb. small zucchini (3-4) cut on a sharp angle into 1/2- inch thick ovals

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put all but 1 tablespoon of the chives in a blender or food processor. Begin to blend while slowly pouring 1/3 cup of the walnut oil through the feed hole of the blender lid. Continue to blend for 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula. Blend for another minute. Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let the flavors infuse.

Strain the oil through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing the purréed chives with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to extract any remaining oil. (I skipped the straining and just used the oil with all of the scallion pieces in it. I think this way would make for a prettier presentation but I’m sure they both taste delicious and the other way is easier.)

In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the remaining 2 tablespoons of walnut oil and season with salt and pepper. Set the zucchini ovals at an angle on a medium-high grill and cook until the zucchini has developed rich brown grill marks, about 3 minutes. Turn the zucchini with tongs and cook until the other sides brown as well and the zucchini is tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small serving dish or platter. Drizzle with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the chive oil over the zucchini and sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon of chives.

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