Brined Grilled Zucchini with Mint Salsa Verde
Why This Recipe Works
by Sasha Marx
Grilled zucchini often falls victim to both under-seasoning and overcooking. Try to address the former, by cutting the zucchini into thin planks that can be seasoned more thoroughly, you end up exacerbating the latter, as thinner pieces overcook in a flash. To achieve well-seasoned, crisp-tender zucchini, we ditched the planks, halved the zucchini lengthwise, and mixed up a brine. Seriously. Meat normally gets all the brining love, but a 45-minute soak in a saltwater solution produces incredibly well-seasoned zucchini. During brining, salt diffuses from an area of greater salt concentration (our 10-percent-salt brine) to an area of lesser concentration (our soon-to-be-delicious zucchini).
We then quickly grill the zucchini to pick up great char and smoky flavor, without turning it to mush. Once it comes off the grill, I pair the zucchini with a punchy riff on Italian salsa verde, packed with refreshing herbs, garlic and red pepper flakes for heat, and capers and vinegar for an acidic bite.
Photography by Steve Klise