We arrived home from our Tasmanian holiday to find that the zucchini plants had taken over the front yard. The path to the front door was blocked by a wayward vine full of small zucchinis, and another vine was weaving it’s way into the car engine. I enjoy growing our own vegetables, however it can sometimes be difficult to find new ways to dispose of the inevitable glut. This grilled zucchini and feta quinoa salad is my latest attempt to use up the relentless supply.
When the zucchini plants are at the height of production, we eat a lot of fritters, pasta and slice. I also freeze large amounts of grated zucchini for use through the winter months. Frozen zucchini is suitable for fritters and slice, and pairs well with chocolate in muffins and cakes. Unfortunately, The Princess is on to me and now views every chocolate cake I bake with suspicion. Invariably she will ask “So what is actually in it?”.
This salad came about one hot day when yet another large zucchini demanded my attention, and it was far too hot to bake. Roasting is a good method to develop flavour in vegetables, however grilling is a great alternative when you don’t want to turn on the oven.
Grilled vegetables add a lovely smoky element to your dish. Pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant, capsicum and (obviously) zucchini all work well on the grill. Slice the vegetables about 5mm thick, toss them lightly in olive oil and grill over a medium high heat. The heat needs to be high enough to cook the vegetables, but not so hot that the outside chars before the inside cooks.
I like quinoa as a base for a substantial salad, and this is great served alongside a simple piece of fish or quick roast chicken. The Princess is not really a quinoa fan, and I can guarantee that if I mention its existence on the menu I will be greeted with much moaning. However I have found, through trial and error, that if I mix the grain with lots of other ingredients she can’t push the quinoa to one side. Cue the moaning.