July 9, 2012
I have a confession: I’m not a very experienced grill master. Or, um, a very enthusiastic one.
I’m capable, but grilling is not my thing. I weasel my way out of being in control nearly every time we fire up the grill. It’s too easy: There’s always some dude—the Hungry Papa, a friend, a grandpa—who wants to flip the burgers. Be my guest! Grilling is just not that exciting.
My favorite part of cooking is coming up with flavor combinations, developing a recipe, tasting and adjusting to make something perfect. While I know that grilling takes technique—skill that I’m sure I have somewhere inside of me—I’d much rather dream up the menu, do the seasoning, and hand over the spatula and tongs.
Maybe it’s because we almost exclusively grill meals that include meat. (The dude effect?) Not sure, but everything changed suddenly when we had a vegetarian friend over for dinner. I suddenly felt excited to grill.
What’s that about?!
Who knows, but it yielded these Grilled Zucchini and Corn Tacos with Salsa Verde (can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*, so I’m not going to think about it too hard.
The really weird thing is that I didn’t even do anything fancy with the veggies. I brushed everything with olive oil (and rubbed a little Sriracha on the grown up pieces of zucchini) and plopped them on the grill. Yet, somehow, the thought of these tacos was thrilling. Perhaps it was the thought of eating these tacos that was thrilling. And fair enough: They are amazingly delicious.
Delicious enough to get me back behind the grill?
Absolutely! At least if it means eating these again.
Try ’em and see. They are super easy. You don’t even need a recipe—just follow these easy steps.
1. Make a homemade salsa verde (I followed the first step of this recipe and then pulsed the roasted veggies in a food processor with some fresh cilantro. Presto! An easy roasted tomatillo salsa verde.) You can buy some, but be warned: Jarred salsa never, ever tastes as good. In a pinch, my favorite brands are Trader Joe’s and Frontera Grill.
2. Brush thick, lengthwise cuts of zucchini and cobs of corn with oil and something to make ’em spicy, if that’s your style. Then grill, baby, grill.
3. While the veggies are grilling, wrap corn tortillas in foil and warm them on the grill, too.
4. Wash and prep fresh cilantro. Get the sour cream or crema ready.
5. Take veggies off of the grill once they are done. Cut corn off of the cob.
6. Layer several slices of zucchini in a warm tortilla, top with corn, salsa and some fresh cilantro. Add sour cream and, if you like, a squirt of Sriracha.
7. Eat, eat, eat! These made a perfect light dinner served with simple black beans and rice.
*Note: Pulse zucchini, corn and a little bit of salsa verde, with or without rice, into a puree for your littlest eaters. For beginner eaters managing chunks, cut veggies up into age appropriate bite sizes.