Zucchini “Burnt Ends” with Herb Butter and Lemon

Recipe adapted from How To Grill Vegetables: The New Bible for Barbecuing Vegetables over Live Fire, Workman Publishing

A celebration of all the ways to grill green, How To Grill Vegetables delivers recipes for everything from starters to sides to desserts, alongside a complete step-by-step handbook to mastering the techniques of grilling vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly flattened with the side of a knife
  • 1 teaspoon freshly and finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons stemmed, chopped fresh dill or mint leaves, plus 3 tablespoons for serving
  • ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 8 small zucchini (each 6 to 8 ounces)
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate

Instructions

Equipment

8 flat (12-inch-long) bamboo skewers or 16 round bamboo skewers

Wood chunks or chips (unsoaked), optional

Method

Set the EGG for direct cooking without a convEGGtor at 350°F/177°C.

Make the lemon herb butter: Melt the butter in a cast iron saucepan. Add the garlic, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of chopped dill and the hot red pepper flakes (if using). Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool. Discard the garlic.

Cut off and discard the ends of the zucchini. Using a mandoline equipped with a finger guard, thinly slice one zucchini lengthwise. (The slices should be the thickness of a quarter.) Lay the slices flat on a rimmed sheet pan. Lightly brush the slices on both sides with the lemon herb butter and season with salt and pepper.

Fold a zucchini slice into an accordion shape (like multiple Ws) and thread it onto a flat skewer. Don’t worry if a few of the slices break – skewer the pieces back to back. Continue threading until all the slices from a single zucchini are on the skewer. The green skin should be on the top and bottom. If using round bamboo skewers, insert a second skewer parallel to the first. (This keeps the zucchini slices from spinning.) Slice, butter, season, and skewer the remaining zucchini the same way. You should wind up with 8 kebabs. It’s best to skewer the zucchini right before grilling.

Meanwhile, raise the EGG temperature to 450°F/232°C. Add the chunks or chips at this time using them. Brush or scrape the cooking grid clean and oil it well.

Arrange the zucchini kebabs, skin side down, on the grid and grill until darkly browned, even singed, at the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and grill the other side skin side down the same way, 6 to 8 minutes in all. Baste the zucchini skewers with the lemon herb butter as they grill. Transfer to a platter or plates for serving and spoon any remaining butter over them. Serve immediately.

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