This is the summer I’m learning how to grill. Michael’s mom gave us her gas Weber, and it seems a shame to let it sit outside without using it a couple times a week, so I’m working on it. Michael takes care of the burgers, chicken wings, brats, etc., and I’m learning my way around grilled corn, fruit, squash, and other plant-based fare. So far so good.
Grilled Squash with Walnut Parsley Pesto was a dog-eared recipe from Everyday Food’s July 2011 issue, so I’m happy I finally found the opportunity to try it. I don’t think grilled veggies are a tough sell: you probably know as well as I do that just-tender, melty squash with some crispy bits is a welcome thing. The pesto, though, takes this from a forgettable side dish to a company-worthy vegetable.
The walnut parsley pesto is at once garden-fresh and earthy, bright and grounded. The parsley and lemon are the sprightlier ingredients, and the walnuts, cheese, and oil mellow them just enough.
Grilled Squash with Walnut Parsley Pesto (lightly adapted from Everyday Food)
2/3 cup packed parsley
1/4 cup chives
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 ounce grated parmesan (I used gruyere this time, which resulted in a delicious but stickier pest0)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for the squash)
Salt and Pepper
3 or 4 yellow squash
Preheat your grill to medium-high.
For the pesto, pulse the parsley, chives, walnuts, parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor until it is a consistent texture. Stream in the olive oil while the processor is running (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides) until it forms a paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You probably know better than I about grilling, but here are some guidelines. Slice the squash a little thicker than 1/4″, then put them in a large bowl with a glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Use your hands to toss the slices and make sure they’re well-coated. Grill until cooked through but not burnt, flipping once. This took me a little less than 10 minutes.
Serve the grilled squash with the pesto on the side.