Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Olives

I thought I was staying just ahead of the garden zucchini plant. There’s that window – only about a day – before the zucchinis bust out of the small to medium size and become giants. And it’s the giants that end up with the poor reputation. It’s it’s the giants that appear in a pretty basket on the neighbors doorstep – or as storyteller Garrison Keillor describes, it’s the giants that end up in the backseat of all unlocked cars in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. The giants are somewhat undesirable because they begin to get woodsy and have large seeds.

So I had a few medium-sized zucchinis and a few almost giants on my hands. Usually the giants are fine for zucchini bread or muffins or even shredded and sauteed to add to pasta sauce or the Corn & Zucchini Tuna Burgers I posted earlier. But I needed a side to go with our grilled hamburgers and with the grill hot, grilled zucchini seemed perfect. Unlike small zucchini which are almost too flimsy to grill without a grill basket (which I don’t have) the medium and almost giants did not fall through the grill grates. I grilled the zucchini slices just as the burgers were finishing up so some of the dripped juices and residual grilled beef numbins gave the zucchini a fabulous smokey flavor.

Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Olives


Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Olives

  • Yield: 4-6 side servings 1x


  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium or large zucchini, sliced 1/2-3/4-inch thick the long way
  • 1 anchovy fillet, drained of oil and mashed with a fork (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata Olives pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the grill to medium-high. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Marinate zucchini while grill heats, about 10 minutes. Remove zucchini from marinade and reserve marinate. Grill zucchini until soft about 3-4 minutes on each side; remove to a serving platter. Stir anchovy (if using) and olives into marinade and pour over hot zucchini. Serve atop lettuce or just as a simple side without lettuce.

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Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Olives


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