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Perfect Grilled Zucchini with Tomatoes and Herbs

Zucchini has a tendency to overtake summer gardens — and one can make only so much zucchini bread! Facing this challenge was America’s Test Kitchen, an organization that employs dozens of cooks to develop the best recipes and methods for popular American dishes. This recipe and methodology was the result. It’s a delicious way to use some of summer’s bounty. The technique is the key to perfection — you can freely substitute other summer squash for the zucchini, and use parsley, mint, clinatro, or tarragon in place of basil, if desired.

Source: Based on techniques outlined in Cook's Illustrated special 2009 issue, "Summer Grilling." (Entered by Janice Matthews)
Serves: Serves 4 to 6.
Vegan!

Ingredients
4 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
a bit of vegetable oil for the grate
1 T. balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 large ripe tomato, cored and cut in thin wedges
2 T. minced fresh basil leaves      View Available Products
to taste salt and black pepper

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Whisk vinegar, salt and pepper, and oil together in a large serving bowl. Add tomato and basil, toss gently, and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise,then run a peeler over the skinned side a couple of times. (This exposes some flesh and flattens the squash for stability on the cooking grate. It also allows grill marks to develop on both sides of each squash half.)
  3. Lay the zucchini on a large baking sheet and brush both sides of each slice with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the charcoal or gas grill until quite hot. Scrape the grate clean with a grill brush. Then dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil. Holding wad with tongs, wipe grate.
  5. Grill zucchini, using tongs to flip once, until streaked with dark grill marks (8 to 10 minutes).
  6. Add grilled zucchini to bowl with tomatoes, toss gently. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve wam or at room temperature.

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