Happy Fall, friends! The season of cozy everything has finally arrived, although I realize that in many parts of the states it hasn’t exactly felt like fall. We’re lucky enough to have had a little mix of both fall weather and sunny days here in Seattle. We’ve had some rain (thank god!) but the temperatures have still been warm enough for grilling and late afternoon lawn games, the sun blessing us with a few more lovely rays before she tucks herself away under a cover of clouds. And since grilling weather is not completely gone, we’ve been making things like this grilled summer squash caprese salad with burrata and basil.
If you’ve been following NK for awhile, you’ve probably noticed that I took a bit of a break from dairy over the last year or so, with the exception of yogurt and some hard cheeses. But lately I’ve been trying to add some back in – mostly just different types of cheese (although I did buy some heavy whipping cream around my birthday to make this brown sugar pavlova – pretty much the best birthday treat of all time!)
Which led to discovering the joy of burrata cheese. And once you find the beauty in burrata it’s sort of impossible to resist the simple pleasure of tearing open that perfect little mozzarella packet of soft cheesy goodness.
Although IF you are strictly dairy free, I think you could make a pretty dang delicious salad in similar fashion by substituting some creamy avocado for the burrata. Definitely adding that to my list for next time.
Grilled summar squash and avocado caprese salad?
I think yes.
I thought about marinating the squash before grilling, but decided against it for the sake of keeping the recipe simple. When you have ultra delicious ingredients to work with those little flavor enhancing tricks become less necessary, and more of an “extra if you have time” sort of a thing.
how to grill yellow summer squash
As the base of this salad, getting that lovely char on the squash is probably the most technical part of the salad, the rest is really just piling delicious things on a plate 🙂 (<— Not technichal, totally awesome)
Here are a few tips for getting the best grilled yellow squash:
- Cut your squash about 1/3 – 1/2 of an inch thick. Any thinner and you’ll run the risk of them softening too much in the middle and falling apart, and any thicker and the outside will probably char before the squash is completely cooked through.
- Like any grilling project, make sure your grates are clean and brush them with a little oil to prevent sticking! However, always brush the grates BEFORE the fire is going, or use a paper towel and tongs with just a little bit of oil to avoid a fire flare up that could burn your fingers badly.
- Toss squash in an adequate amount of high heat cooking oil before cooking to again, prevent sticking. For this recipe I use about 3 medium sized squash and 1 tablespoon of oil. Basically you want them to be thoroughly coated.
- While they’re cooking, don’t move them around! By letting the squash cook without being touched, you allow for that nice brown char to form, which in turn will aid in releasing the squash from the grates once they’re ready. For a medium-hot grill this usually takes about 2-3 minutes. You should be able to tell when they’re ready by lifting a corner to test.
Once the squash slices are ready, move them to a plate to cool ever-so-slightly – the salad really is the best when the squash are still slightly warm from the grill. When you pair that with the creamy cool burrata, a generous glug of olive oil, balsamic, fresh basil and some toasty pine nuts you’re gonna know why I’m so in love with this simple in between seasons dish.
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Grilled summer squash caprese salad made with silky burrata cheese, fresh basil, balsamic, plenty of olive oil and toasted pine nuts – so simple and so divine!
FOR THE SQUASH
- about 3 medium sized summer squash – I used a combination of classic yellow straight neck and patty pan yellow squash, sliced 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil + more for brushing grill grates
- salt and black pepper
FOR SALAD ASSEMBLY
- grilled summer squash
- 4 oz burrata cheese (one large ball)
- about 10 basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- flaky sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, or another nut of choice
- Toss sliced squash with avocado oil and salt and pepper. I tend to err on the side of more salt, so I probably used about 3/4 tsp for this much squash, but you could use any amount that feels appropriate for your taste buds. Same goes for pepper, I load it on, probably about 10-12 grinds in this case – but let your tastebuds lead the way.
- Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Make sure grill grates are clean and brush with a little avocado oil. Grill squash, being careful not to crowd (you can grill in batches if necessary), until slightly charred and starting to soften – about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the exact temperature of your grill.
- Move to a plate and allow to cool slightly.
- Top with burrata and break open to spread over the top of grilled squash. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Top with fresh basil, pine nuts, a little flaky sea salt and more freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!!