When grill season meets cleaning out the fridge you get Grilled Zucchini and Asparagus Salad.
I had a couple of zucchini in my veggie crisper. As I dug deeper into the drawer, I found some super sweet cherry tomatoes and a bundle of asparagus that needed using this past week. All the produce still had some good life in them, so I adapted a couple of recipes for Zucchini and Asparagus Salad I found online.
One had just the grilled zucchini and asparagus with a nice dressing. The other added arugula. I decided to add my newly “unearthed” cherry tomatoes and basil from my garden to make this salad.
How to Prep the Ingredients for Grilled Zucchini and Asparagus Salad
- I started with a large pot of boiling water and blanched the asparagus for about 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.
- Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Slice the zucchini super thin. I use either my mandoline or a spiralizer. Either work well. A sharp knife will always get the job done, too.
- Combine and asparagus and zucchini in a bowl. Add salt and olive oil and coat the vegetables evenly.
- I sliced the tomatoes in half but you can leave them whole if they are small. Halving them stick on my fork better.
- Cut up fresh basil leaves into small pieces.
- Separate the arugula from my spinach/arugula mix (can’t find arugula on its own in these parts).
- I also mix up the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and whisking them together.
How to Grill the Zucchini and Asparagus
- Heat your grill, grill pan, or skillet on high heat for a couple of minutes until it is hot.
- After you’ve oiled and salted the asparagus and zucchini, place them in the hot grill or grill pan.
- Grill for about 2 minutes on each side.
- Remove from the pan and let cool.
At this point, combine all of the grilled veggies, tomato, arugula and basil with the dressing. Gently toss to combine.
A couple of added notes
You can swap out yellow summer squash for the zucchini.
I’ve been known to use spinach instead of arugula. Spinach doesn’t have as sharp a flavor as arugula so it may be more palatable for some.
I often serve this cold or at room temp. I just refrigerate the grilled veggies until I’m ready to serve the salad. I add the grilled veggies to the remaining parts of the salad and toss with the dressing.
This salad actually tastes great the next day, even though the arugula gets a little whilty.
Grilled Zucchini and Asparagus Salad
- 4 medium zucchini sliced thin
- 10 spears of thin asparagus blanched
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- ¾ cup arugula
- ¾ cup basil leaves
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
- SNAP off the hard base of each asparagus spear.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and BLANCH the asparagus for 3 minutes. DRAIN and RINSE with cold water. CUT asparagus into thirds and SET ASIDE.
- SLICE the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick.
- ADD the zucchini and asparagus to a large bowl. SEASON with salt and pepper. ADD 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and RUB the oil into the vegetables.
- On high heat, HEAT a grill pan or griddle for a couple of minutes until hot. GRILL the zucchini and asparagus, 2 minutes on each side. REMOVE and let COOL.
- In a large bowl, COMBINE arugula, tomato halves, grilled vegetables, and basil leaves. ADD dressing and TOSS gently to combine.
For the Dressing
- MIX all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or blender until smooth.