Grilled Zucchini Salad with Fresh Mint & Lemon
Spring and summer side dishes never have to be boring or costly. An inexpensive way to buy vegetables and fruit is to buy what's in season. This month I am seeing a lot of reasonably priced zucchini and fresh mint is always available here in California. California actually grows about 80% of all fruits and vegetables in the United States, so California seasons are national seasons. Today I flash grilled some zucchini, (sliced thin on a mandoline) added some mint, lemon juice, a tiny bit of fresh chopped red chili and viola, the perfect plant-based side dish. If you don't have a mandoline, I recommend buying one. I use mine all the time and fresh uncooked vegetables taste delicious sliced paper thin and they are easier to digest. Zucchini also has many health benefits. When you consume it grilled or raw, you increase your dietary fiber which makes you feel full longer. Raw and grilled zucchini also benefit your health due to their folate, or vitamin B-9 content. Folate helps support your metabolism. One large zucchini also has 58 grams of magnesium which plays a major role in keeping your bones strong. I never stop being amazed at what nature provides for our bodies. Hope you enjoy this healthy easy vegan recipe as much as I did.
- 4 large Zucchini
- Handful of fresh mint, chopped
- 1 red chili, finely chopped (optional)
- ½ clove garlic, finely chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- couple of pinches of salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Trim ends off zucchini and thinly slice. This is where a mandoline comes in handy.
- Brush a grill pan with a touch of oil and heat. When the grill is red hot, add the zucchini and flash grill them until lightly charred. You don't want to overcook them and make them too limp.
- Scatter the slices over a large plate so they don't sit on top of each other and steam. Sprinkle them with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice and chopped garlic.
- Add the zucchini to a bowl. Sprinkle with fresh mint and red chili. Add dressing a little at a time and lightly toss. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Garnish with some fresh mint sprigs or slivered almonds.