Grilled Zucchini with Chickpeas, Pickled Red Onions and Cherry Tomatoes

Wine Commentary by Gary Twining • Photo by Beth Segal

It’s easy to throw slabs of fresh zucchini on the grill. But we could add so much more sparkle and depth to the results. Elevate them with a brief marinade of good olive oil (love Trader Joe’s Sicilian) and fresh garlic and give them some grill marks to layer with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and radishes.


4 zucchinis, about 1-1/2-inch thick, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and minced

4 ounces matchstick-cut radishes

12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 tsp fresh chopped thyme and/or oregano leaves


Pickled Red Onions

(make at least one hour ahead)

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions

2 TBS red wine vinegar

Pickle the onion slices by rinsing in boiling water, draining, and placing in a small bowl with vinegar. Set aside for an hour or so.


Grilled Zucchini

Lay zucchini slices on a plate and rub with 2 TBS of the olive oil, salt, and garlic. Set aside.

Heat grill (gas or charcoal) or a cast iron grill pan on high. Cook slices 1-2 minutes on each side, or until tender. Dress the plates evenly with radish, zucchini, tomatoes, pickled onions, chickpeas, and herbs. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.

Makes 4 servings.


You could add: Cooked chicken, feta chunks, or fresh soft cheese on toast.


Gary: Grilling will add great flavor to the zucchini. With the addition of the earthy chickpeas and pickled onions, this salad calls for a crisp, unoaked white for a pleasant pairing. Try a dry sparkler such as Vermentino (with its minerality), or Pinot Blanc (like Chardonnay but with higher acidity and lighter body). This is also a perfect dish to pair with crisp, clean Italian white wines, such as Pinot Grigio, Gavi, Soave, Orvieto or Frascati.

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