As we are currently hitting 90 plus degrees on a daily basis here in Nebraska AND my garden is about to burst forth with a bumper crop of zucchini and basil, I thought a summer squash open sandwich prepared entirely on the grill might be just the thing we need right now.
Grilling Summer Squash
The high heat of the grill is wonderful way to bring out the best in summer squash. Zucchini are over 90 percent water. The dry heat of the grill coaxes some of this moisture out while giving the vegetables an attractive and flavorful sear. The result is tender and delicious summer squash slices that are in no way soggy or water-logged.
And the process itself couldn't be easier. Simply brush or rub ½ inch thick zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. A quick 3-4 minutes per side over medium heat, and you will have lovely grill marks and perfectly delicious vegetables.
To keep those summer vibes going, I wanted to skip the butter on this open sandwich and opt for something cool and refreshing instead. I tried a few different options and landed on this quick basil mayonnaise. Nothing more than a combination of chopped fresh basil and prepared mayonnaise, this easy summer spread perks up just about anything from tomato sandwiches to hamburgers. It's a lovely recipe to have on hand all summer long.
Grilled Sourdough Bread
Instead of the traditional dense Danish rye, this open sandwich really shines with a toasted piece of sourdough (or other rustic loaf) as the base. But no need to get out the toaster! Just toss the bread right on the grill and keep a close eye on it. When it's crisp and has grill marks, it's time to flip it to the other side. This should only take a couple of minutes, depending on the heat of your particular grill.
While the bread is still warm, rub it with a peeled garlic clove. This imparts the toast with a little garlic flavor that goes a long way in the final result.
Should you also be experiencing high temperatures and more zucchini than you know what to do with, give this Grilled Summer Squash Smørrebrød with Basil Mayonnaise a try! It makes a delightful summer supper....all without heating up the house. If you've got some garden or farmstand tomatoes on hand, this Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup would be absolutely delicious alongside. Need more ideas for your garden zucchini? Give these recipes a try:
- Zucchini Barley Cakes with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta
- Grilled Summer Squash Salad with Rye Berries and Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Grilled Summer Squash Smørrebrød with Basil Mayonnaise
For the Smørrebrød:
- 2-3 zucchini or yellow squash or a mix of the two cut into ½ inch thick slices
- Olive oil for brushing
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 slices sourdough or rustic country bread
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- Basil Mayonnaise recipe follows
- 2 cups of baby arugula or other small lettuces
- Fresh basil leaves sprouts or microgreens for garnish (optional)
For the Basil Mayonnaise:
- ½ cup prepared mayonnaise
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- Make the Basil Mayonnaise: Combine mayonnaise and chopped fresh basil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the grill to medium. Brush zucchini and/or yellow squash slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until squash is tender and has grill marks, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and set aside.
- Brush bread with olive oil. Grill until golden brown and crisp, checking frequently and flipping halfway through. Remove the toast from the grill and rub each slice with the garlic clove.
- Assemble the Smørrebrød: Transfer toasted bread to a clean work surface. Spread each slice with the Basil Mayonnaise. Top with a handful of arugula or lettuce leaves. Artfully arrange grilled zucchini and/or summer squash on top. Garnish with additional basil and/or microgreens if desired. Serve.