Zucchini is a squash-like vegetable that is in season between May and September, depending on your region of the country. Zucchini has a light, delicate and, in some cases, a slightly sweet flavor. You can prepare zucchini in several ways. Grilling caramelizes the zucchini, imparts a nutty flavor and brings out the natural sweetness. Outdoor grilling is best, but if you do not have access to a grill you can also grill zucchini on the stove.
Use zucchini that are less than 10 inches long and approximately three inches in diameter if you are cutting them length wise. A shorter zucchini is easier to cut lengthwise, especially if it has a prominent curve.
Use zucchini that are at least 6 inches in diameter, if you are cutting them in disks or half-moons. Larger pieces are easier to handle on the grill.
Preheat the grill pan on high so that it is the proper temperature. If the grill pan is too cold, you will not get the grill marks on the zucchini.
Rinse the zucchini. Cut of the tops and approximately one inch off the ends.
Cut the smaller zucchini in half lengthwise, or cut the larger zucchini into disks or half-moons one-half to one inch thick. The zucchini will grill quickly and the thicker pieces will prevent the zucchini from getting mushy on the grill.
Spray the flesh of the zucchini with nonstick cooking spray. If you prefer, brush the flesh with extra virgin olive oil. If using zucchini disks, oil both sides. Do not add oil to the pan because the oil can scorch and adversely affect the flavor of the zucchini.
Sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper on the flesh of the zucchini. Use a small amount so as not to overpower the natural flavor of the zucchini.
Put the zucchini flesh-side down on the grill pan. Grill for two minutes on each side. The flesh should be firm with brown grill marks.
For stronger seasoning, soak the zucchini in a marinade of ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsalmic vinegar, 1 tbsp. crushed garlic, 1 tbsp. dill, 1 tsp. crushed red pepper and a dash of salt for 20 minutes before grilling.