Grilled Summer Squash with Pesto and Balsamic Glaze
I am obsessed with this combination of the sweet balsamic glaze and the tangy, savory, bright pesto. Serve this as a side dish, as an appetizer or over greens for a salad. When I made this dish for one of my clients, the feedback was “best salad ever!” Need I say more?
I have provided recipes for pesto and a balsamic glaze but feel free to use store-bought to save time!
1/2 c balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. agave or sweetener of choice
4 ounces fresh basil, thick stems removed 1/8 cup toasted pine nuts, almonds or walnuts (or pumpkin seeds for nut-free pesto) 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic 1/4 cup shredded parmigiano cheese 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil salt
1 medium-sized eggplant 2 yellow squashes 2 zucchini 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt
Make the balsamic reduction
Stir the vinegar and agave together in a small skillet. Turn the flame up to medium-high and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until it is reduced to about ¼ cup. You can pour it back into the measuring cup to check.
Set it aside to cool. It will thicken to a delicious syrup once cooled.
Make the pesto
Basil, when chopped will turn a little brown and will continue to get more brown even when refrigerated. This browning does not change the flavor. So for me, unless I’m serving it to guests, I don’t worry about it.
1. Place the garlic, nuts and cheese into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add the basil and oil and mix until a paste forms.
4. Taste. I like to add a couple of pinches of salt but the cheese does add some saltiness so add a little at a time and taste as you go.
Grill the Veggies
1. Heat up your gas grill.
2. Slice the eggplant into ¼” rounds. Slice the yellow squash and zucchini on an angle, also ¼” thick.
3. Lay the slices out on a large platter or cutting board. Brush the top with a little EV olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. No need to do the other side yet.
4. Lay the veggies on the grill oil side down. Now brush the top with oil and sprinkle with salt.
5. Turn the flame down to medium and cook the yellow squash 3 minutes per side, zucchini 4-5 minutes per side and eggplant 5-6 minutes per side. Be to keep the heat on medium or the outside will burn before the inside has a chance to turn creamy and sweet.
Serve topped with pesto and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.