Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Published May 2009

Why This Recipe Works

Our perfect grilled vegetable recipe would have to produce charred-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside veggies with great smoky flavor and a lively dressing. Matching the vegetables in pairs doubled up our recipe’s flavor, while cooking them over moderate heat for 20 minutes gave us a great result, both inside and out. To finish our grilled vegetables recipe, we drizzled them with a quick vinaigrette while they were still warm, which boosted their flavor without overpowering them.


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1 large red onion, peeled and cut crosswise into four 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick planks
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lemon plus 1 tablespoon juice
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

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Serves 4 to 6

The vegetables can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature. After about five minutes, faint grill marks should begin to appear on the undersides of the vegetables; if necessary, adjust their position on the grill or adjust the heat level.

1. Thread onion rounds, from side to side, onto 2 metal skewers. Brush onion and zucchini evenly with ¼ cup olive oil and season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt) and pepper to taste.

2. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, mustard, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt) together in small bowl; set aside.

3. Grill vegetables over medium heat, turning once, until tender and caramelized, 18 to 22 minutes (move vegetables as needed to ensure even cooking). Transfer vegetables to platter; remove skewers from onion and discard any charred outer rings. Rewhisk vinaigrette and pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with basil and serve.