Grilled Zucchini and Chayote Salad, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Grilled Zucchini and Chayote Salad

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 6-8 Servings
Your zucchini and chayote salad will be the star of your dinner menu with this recipe. All you need is a few minutes of grilling time, a homemade vinaigrette, and crumbled Mexican cheese for garnishing.

Grilled zucchini and chayote squash. What's not to love about that? Dress it up with Mexican flavors with a homemade cilantro garlic vinaigrette and crumbled queso fresco. I prepared this Mexican-inspired salad for my friends at the community lunch and it was a hit instantly. With just a few minutes of grilling time, the vegetables are transformed with these subtle smoky flavors. No outdoor grill? No worries. This recipe can be adapted to a stove top grill pan with no problem. Take advantage of your local farmers market and pick up some fresh vegetables for a delicious salad or side dish.

Ingredients

  • For the Cilantro Garlic Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano finely minced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes crushed
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil to taste
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • For the Salad
  • 3 medium zucchinis sliced
  • 2 medium chayotes sliced
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 full cup queso fresco
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped

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Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a screw-on lid. Secure, then shake until well combined. Taste for salt. Set aside.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat for 5 minutes. Season the sliced zucchini and chayote lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. When ready, place vegetables on the grill, spacing out evenly. Grill for a few minutes per side or until you have some nice, dark grill marks. Turn and rotate as needed. Do not overcook.
  4. Place vegetables on large serving platter. Try not to stack them or they will steam. Dress with vinaigrette. Add a nice, even layer of crumbled queso and freshly chopped cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Chef Notes

My best tip would be to prepare your homemade dressing a few days in advance. The flavors will intensify with just one or two days of marinating. Any dressing can double as a marinade.

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