Grilled Zucchini, Oven-Roasted Tomato and Burrata Salad
Grilled Zucchini is the Foundation for this Fabulous Summer SaladI could eat this grilled zucchini salad all summer long. Pair it with a cold glass of sauvignon blanc and a crusty hunk of bread and it is all I need for dinner. This salad also works nicely as a side dish to grilled chicken, steak or fish.
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes Add Intense FlavorI oven-roast golf-ball size cocktail tomatoes that I buy at Trader Joe's. I like to roast them slowly at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half, or until they are caramelized and delicious. You can roast the tomatoes a day or two in advance; just know these delicious little nuggets frequently disappear about as fast as you can pull them out of the oven. I always make extra and they never go to waste. You can roast larger plum tomatoes if you want. They take a little longer in the oven, but are equally delicious. See my recipe here.
Homemade or Store-Bought PestoYou can use either homemade or store bought pesto for this salad.
Homemade PestoI like my Basil and Spinach Pesto for this salad for several reasons:
- It is quick and easy to make. Simply throw the ingredients in a food processor, whirl and you are done.
- Spinach adds nutrients and health benefits to pesto. Spinach is a super food that supports heart, skin, digestive and other body systems.
- Spinach is economical and a great way to stretch your pesto dollars if you are purchasing fresh basil. A big bag of spinach costs about the same as a handful of basil.
- Spinach colors the pesto a bright and appetizing green which will make your salad as beautiful as it is tasty.
Store Bought PestoIf you don't have the time or ingredients for homemade pesto, don't feel bad about substituting store-bought pesto. Trader Joe's makes a great fresh pesto that will do just fine.
SubstitutesThere are lots of easy variations on this salad to consider depending on what ingredients are available to you. I originally made this salad for a dinner on our boat with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella slices and jarred pesto. It was quick, easy and delicious. Here are possible substitutes:
- Fresh tomatoes for oven-roasted tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese for burrata
- Grilled eggplant for grilled zucchini
- Consider adding grilled mushrooms, onions or fennel.
TimeIf you are making fresh pesto and oven-roasted tomatoes, this dish will take a bit of time. The good news is fresh pesto really takes just a few minutes and oven roasting tomatoes takes a couple minutes to slice and then it is hands-off while the oven does the work. Except for 10 minutes on the grill for the zucchini, this recipe is mostly about assembling. It can be served warm or room temperature.
Even Billie Likes this Grilled Zucchini SaladThis grilled zucchini salad is sure to be a big hit with your family, friends and even your dog. Just ask Billie!
Grilled Zucchini, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Burrata Salad
Yield 4 - 8 servings
This delicious grilled zucchini summer salad takes advantage of summer tomatoes and zucchini. It is quick and easy to put together and there are lots of great variations.
- 2 1-pound packages cocktail tomatoes
- Olive oil
- 4 medium zucchinis
- 3 ounces arugula ( a little more than half a bag or box)
- 8 ounces burrata cheese
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- 2 ounces good quality balsamic vinegar
- 3 T toasted pine nuts
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 pinches flakey salt such as Maldon
To roast the tomatoes: (Can be done a day or two ahead)
- Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half through the middle, not through the stem.
- Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and check after an hour and then every 15 minutes after. Roasting time will vary with the type and size of your tomatoes. Small ping pong sized tomatoes should take about 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove tomatoes from the oven and set aside. If you are roasting them in advance, layer then in a shallow dish and refrigerate until needed.
To grill the zucchini:
- Heat the grill to medium high. Slice each of the zucchini lengthwise into 4 thin slabs. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until they are no longer opaque and are starting to become translucent, with nice grill marks. This will take about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
To assemble the salad:
- Spread the arugula over a large flat platter. Slice the zucchini into 3" pieces and layer over the arugula.
- Place the burrata on top of the zucchini on either end of the platter. Take a sharp knife and slice an "X" in the top of each burrata.
- Arrange the tomatoes on top of the zucchini and around the two balls of burrata.
- Spoon the pesto over the burrata and the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, crushed red pepper flakes and flakey salt.
You can use fresh tomatoes instead of oven-roasted tomatoes. You will get much more flavor out of your tomatoes, however, if you oven-roast them.