It’s probably no surprise to know that I consume a lot of vegetables. Dinner plates in my house are typically proportioned at well over 50 percent with some form of salad and an array of veggies that have been either roasted, sautéed, grilled or in their raw form.
Currently the local farmers markets are brimming with everything from fresh beans and snap peas, to artichokes, asparagus and beets, making it quite easy to have a diverse rotation of healthy veggie to consume throughout the week. Also coming into season right now that I consider to be “filler” vegetables because they are so easy to incorporate onto the plate in a vast number of ways and take very little effort to prepare are cucumbers and zucchini.
Considered a vegetable but botanically speaking they are technically fruits, both are members of the gourd family but different species within. Cucumbers are almost always consumed raw, while zucchini is typically cooked. However, fresh zucchini this time of year is quite tasty in its raw state.
When looking for a couple of quick simple ways to add veggies to my dinner plate, a cucumber salad with tomatoes, red onion and maybe a combination of fresh herbs all tossed in a rice vinegar, sesame oil and sweet chili sauce dressing always hits the spot for the first.
Utilizing the zucchini, a quick drizzle of olive oil and seasoning before grilling at high heat makes for the other side. Combined, it’s about 5 minutes of total prep work and about the same in total cooking time.
GRILLED GOLD-BAR ZUCCHINI SPEARS
2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into quarter long spears
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the grill to high heat. Coat the zucchini with olive oil and season with season salt. Using your hands, rub the seasoned salt around all sides of the zucchini. Place flesh side down on the hot grill and cook for about 1 minute. Then rotate to the other flesh side and cook for another minute. Finished cooking on the third side, skin side on the grill until cooked to desired tenderness. This is a great side to cook as your grilled meats are resting before serving. Serving grilled squash spears right after cooking. Serves 4 sides (2 spears each).