For someone who lives on a plant-based diet, I certainly lack the green thumb. It makes me so sad to admit that I’ve killed a lot of plants in my life. Orchids are lucky to last a month in my house. My zinnias are struggling, and my dahlias became slug food. Just this week I had to throw away two succulents – plants that are notoriously easy to take care of. I am a delinquent gardener.
The only exception to my horticultural shortcomings appears to be my vegetable garden. I LOVE my vegetable garden. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to grow my own vegetables. Once we bought our house, I dedicated a small plot to growing tomatoes, zucchini, chard, kale, romaine, butter lettuce, and green beans. I work hard at keeping my veggies alive and producing. This year, I scaled back the garden a bit to include only tomatoes, zucchini, kale, and peppers.
The best part of having a home veggie garden? Duh, being able to fresh pick your dinner! My plants all came from Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill, and they are growing beautifully. Soon I will have heirloom tomatoes for my salads and bell peppers for stir fries without even having to go to the store. I’m already using the kale for my morning smoothies.
My zucchini are just starting to come in, and I was able to pick two nice sized ones for dinner. Which is good news because grilled zucchini is my absolute favorite side dish. And grilled zucchini with pesto and olives is my favorite of favorites. If you don’t have pesto on hand, this dish works just as well chiffonade basil leaves.
Grilled Zucchini with Pesto and Olives
2 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1 tbs of olive oil
1 tsp of garlic powder
large pinch of salt
1/4 cup of mixed green and Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 tbs of pesto or a handful of chiffonade basil leaves
Toss zucchini strips with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Grill over medium-high heat, flipping halfway, until zucchini strips are browned on both sides. If your zucchini sticks to your grill, try using a grill pan or tinfoil.
Remove zucchini from grill. Top with olives and pesto/basil, and serve immediately.