Grilled Baby Zucchini-and-Tomato Salad

If you're lucky enough to find baby zucchini at the grocery store or farmers' market, show off its diminutive size and delicate flavor in this delicious take on panzanella, the classic Italian bread salad. Made with juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs, and hunks of toasted garlic bread, our version also includes baby zucchini and a zingy mustard-and-shallot vinaigrette. Baby zucchini requires hardly any prep at all. Because the squash is so young and tender, the only trick is to not overcook it on the grill. In this recipe, all you need to do is slice it lengthwise and coat it with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. About two minutes per side over the flames is all it takes to get nice char marks and a hint of smoke. Serve the salad immediately after it has been prepared, because the longer it sits, the more the dressing the bread will absorb.

Grilled Baby Zucchini-and-Tomato Salad
Photo: Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Anna Hampton
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 serves


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot (from 1 small shallot)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 10 - 12 baby zucchini (about 12 oz.), cut in half lengthwise

  • 3 ounces day-old sourdough bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick

  • 1 medium garlic clove, halved crosswise

  • 1 pint multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mixed basil and flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Stir together vinegar, shallot, mustard, and honey in a small bowl, and let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in thyme, 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper until combined.

  2. Toss together zucchini, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Place zucchini on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until zucchini are tender and grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a medium bowl.

  3. Brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil evenly over both sides of bread slices. Place bread on grates; grill until slightly charred and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Rub grilled bread on both sides with garlic halves. Discard garlic, or reserve for another use. Tear bread into 1-inch pieces.

  4. Add tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar-shallot mixture to zucchini in bowl, and gently toss to coat. Spoon tomato-zucchini mixture onto a serving platter. Top with torn grilled bread, and sprinkle with basil and parsley. Serve immediately alongside remaining vinegar-shallot mixture.

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