When four more beautiful, firm yellow zucchini showed up in last week’s CSA share, the challenge was on. What else could I do with them that would not only be delicious but would push my envelop. Inspired by the success of my Grilled Salsa a few weeks ago, I thought, hmm: tacos.
I knew from my experience with grilling the patty-pans that the zucchini wasn’t going to be the problem. It would grill easily — but while it would have decent flavour, my previous efforts showed that zucchini needed to be paired with other things that would enhance it’s otherwise fresh but subtle flavours … not the sort of thing you generally replace meat with, that’s for sure. As you’ve read in previous posts, I knew I’d need a protein to give this some staying power and depth … and that I’d need some accompaniments that could make the zucchini sing the canary yellow of its skin. Thus were born a trio of sides able to work on their own in other dishes, but designed to work together with this squash: Avocado-Chimichurri Sauce, Black Bean and Corn Salsa, and Asian Red Plum Salsa.
The sides individually bring the freshness of ‘greens’ and lime (the chimichuri), the satisfying crunchiness and meatiness (the black beans), and the sweetness and spice (the plum salsa) that elevate the squash to a meal which will appeal to all, meat eaters included. As well, instead of incorporating the oregano into the chimichurri sauce as would be tradition, I’ve reserved the oregano to directly season the zucchini.
The only added ‘trick’ here is to serve them on corn tortillas (soft if possible) for a bit more strength, yes, and the added nuttiness from the milled corn. I’d also highly recommend a good mojito to wash it all down … not because it needs washing, but because the the added lime and mint in the drink is a perfect complement to a quartet that will have you begging for hot summer nights.
Note: this recipe makes great leftovers than can be enjoyed for a few days.
Prep time: 30 minutes, total, including sides
Cook time: 6 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Vegetarian Tacos with Grilled Zucchini
- 3 medium-sized yellow zucchini
- 12-24 soft corn tortillas*
→ quantity depends on the size you choose
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh Greek oregano
- 1/2 pound (225 gr) of soft ripe cheese like Monterey jack or gouda
* Note: not all commercially made corn tortillas are gluten-free. Choose your brand carefully if you’re gluten sensitive.
- Make the accompanying sides by following the recipes for each:
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Asian Red Plum Salsa
- Preheat your barbecue grill to 375ºF.
- Grate the cheese and set aside.
- Prepare the zucchini by washing it, topping and tailing it, and then, lengthwise, cut it into quarters. Roughly chop the Greek oregano. Rub olive oil over the whole zucchini. Lightly season with salt and pepper and then sprinkle with the chopped oregano.
- When the grill has come to temperature, carefully lay the zucchini perpendicular to the grill and cut-side down. Grill for about 3 minutes until nice grill marks have formed. Then, using tongs, carefully flip the zucchini onto the skin side and grill for 3 more minutes.
- Remove zucchini from grill. Zucchini is done before it has fully softened and gets soft. Placing grilled zucchini on a cutting board, use a sharp chef’s knife to cut it into 1″ (2cm) pieces. Arrange on a serving platter.
- Prepare on your serving table all the parts.
- On the barbecue, grill tortillas for about 1 minute per side until light grill marks appear, then flip.
- Serve hot tortillas to your guests and top with cheese, grilled zucchini and the sauces, individually or in any combination.
- Have fun and enjoy with cool glasses of fresh mojitos.