My grilled zucchini and mozzarella salad takes a few minutes to bring together and transforms the humble zucchini into a delicious starter.
For Labor Day Weekend, we're keeping it super simple this year. The kids will get their burgers while the adults have the usual grilled corn, shishito peppers, harissa chicken, Vietnamese lemongrass pork ribs, Vietnamese grilled pork, and steak. This year, I'm excited to add a new dish to the roster, grilled zucchini and mozzarella salad. We love grilling zucchini because it's healthy and so easy to make. The grilled zucchini salad complements the harissa chicken and steak and tastes great on its own if you're a vegetarian.
- Zucchini: for this recipe, I'm using a combination of zucchini and zucchini blossoms. Pick small zucchini because they have smaller seeds and take less work to prep.
- Mozzarella: my favorite mozzarella is mozzarella di bufala. It has a wonderful soft, semi-elastic texture. Simply tear up a large ball of mozzarella into bite size pieces. If you can’t find mozzarella, burrata makes a wonderful substitute. Feta also works well with zucchini.
- Mint: I love the refreshing touch that mint lends to this salad. You can switch it out for basil if you don't like mint.
- Olive oil: look for an excellent cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil with a bit of a bite.
Tips for Grilling Zucchini
- Slice the zucchini into uniform thickness lengthwise so they grill evenly. Use a very sharp knife or mandolin for the job. For the zucchini blossoms, remove the stamen and halve them if they are large.
- For flavoring the zucchini, I tossed them in olive oil, salt, and pepper before grilling. Feel free to add your favorite seasoning as zucchini is a wonderful canvas for herbs, citrus, and spices.
- Zucchini tends to get mushy the longer it sits. If you're grilling a lot of things save the zucchini for last.
- Serve the zucchini as soon as they come off the grill.
The sweetness of the grilled zucchini complements the creamy mozzarella, refreshing mint, and lemony dressing. It's a simple yet delicious salad that takes minutes to throw together. This grilled zucchini and mozzarella salad was the perfect way to celebrate zucchini season!
Grilled Zucchini and Mozzarella Salad
- 1 pound small zucchinis, cut lengthwise into ¼ inch slices
- 6 zucchini blossoms, cut lengthwise in half
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves
- 8 ounces buffalo mozzarella, torn (or burrata)
- In a large bowl, toss the zucchini slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pinch of pepper.
- Preheat grill on medium-high.
- Once grill is smoking hot, carefully use tongs to rub an oiled paper towel over grates.
- Place zucchini slices and blossoms on grill grates, turning halfway, for 2-3 minutes until tender.
- Transfer zucchini and blossoms to serving platter.
- In a bowl, whisk remaining olive oil, lemon juice, honey, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pinch of pepper.
- Serve grilled zucchini with mozzarella, mint, and dressing.