Charred Zucchini with Mozzarella and Lovage

updated May 29, 2019
Charred Zucchini with Mozz and Lovage

Take advantage of all that summer zucchini by throwing it on the grill! Add mozzarella and lovage (or an herb like parsley) for a unique side dish.

Serves4

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Credit: Ana Cuba

This recipe is a part of Anna Jones’ summer grilling menu. You can find all the recipes in the package here.

Zucchini starts showing up when the days get warmer, and stays around for most of the summer. I cooked this on a hot and heavy day early last year, at a supper club, and it’s now a meal I regularly dream of. The sweetness of the charred zucchini paired with the cool, calm, and creamy mozzarella and the verdant hit from the lovage — a leafy herb similar to parsley, with a celery-like flavor — is pure joy. It was the brainchild of the brilliant Robbin Holmgren, the head chef at Fifteen London. I am sure his version is much fancier, but this is how I do it at home.

The lovage oil is the crowning glory and simpler than you might think, though a good pesto would work too. Any leftover oil can be kept in a jar in the fridge for a few weeks. A mixture of parsley and celery leaves will also work.

Anna Jones, Author of The Modern Cook’s Year

Credit: Matt Russell/Kitchn; Food & Prop Stylist: Emily Ezekiel/Kitchn

Charred Zucchini with Mozz and Lovage

Take advantage of all that summer zucchini by throwing it on the grill! Add mozzarella and lovage (or an herb like parsley) for a unique side dish.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • A bunch of lovage

  • 6 tablespoons

    good extra-virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt

  • 6

    zucchini (I mix yellow and green)

  • 2 balls

    of buffalo mozzarella or burrata

To finish:

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Some zucchini flowers

Instructions

  1. First, make the lovage oil. Fill a bowl with boiling water and another with cold. Plunge the lovage into the boiling water, scoop it out immediately, and immerse in the cold water to cool. Pat dry with paper towels; this keeps the lovage green.

  2. Put the lovage in a food processor or blender, add the olive oil and a small pinch of salt, then blend until really smooth. Leave the food processor running for at least a couple of minutes to extract as much flavor from the lovage as possible. Pass the oil through a sieve, then transfer to a jar and set aside. Push any herb in the sieve down with a spoon to squeeze out the most flavor. (Alternatively, use pesto in place of the lovage oil).

  3. Next, heat your grill (or griddle) until it’s smoking hot. While it heats up, cut your bigger zucchini into 3/8-inch (1-cm) rounds and smaller ones into long slices or just in half. Once hot, char your zucchini on both sides until nicely charred and softened a little in the middle. This will take longer on a griddle, but try not to move them around too much—otherwise, the char marks won’t form in even lines. About 2 to 3 minutes each side should do the trick, even less on a grill.

  4. Serve the charred zucchini alongside the mozzarella, torn into pieces, and finish with a little sea salt, black pepper, a drizzle of the lovage oil, and torn zucchini flowers if using.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones, published by Abrams Books 2019.

Credit: Courtesy of Abrams Books

Find the Book:The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones