Hi, friends. Today I present to you Grilled Peach and Zucchini Summer Bowls! Are you ready for this end-of-summer bliss in a bowl?!
Whenever mid August approaches I get a little anxious because I haven’t had my fair chance with all of the summertime produce yet. I haven’t grilled outside enough! I haven’t tried grilling peaches yet, as I told myself in the spring I was going to do. It’s this silly, but very real rushed kind of feeling that I need to make the most of this vibrant produce season before it’s too late and I have to wait WAY too long for it to come around again. Be honest, am I totally weird for feeling this pressure about summer produce?! I know I can’t be alone on this; I know you produce-loving foodies are out there. Let’s unite by making these Grilled Peach and Zucchini Summer Bowls!
These Grilled Peach and Zucchini Summer Bowls have a lot of flavor elements going on but, trust me, they all play together really nice. The nutty quinoa gives us a nice, hearty texture and provides the protein for this vegetarian meal. The fresh, raw sweet corn cut right off the cob gives a nice sweetness and fresh crunch. The grilled peaches (or nectarines) are melt-in-your-mouth tender and smoky and everything that was ever amazing about summer! The grilled zucchini becomes tender, yet is al dente. Finally there’s the slightly spicy arugula which is tossed in a balsamic dressing that we made – don’t worry, it’s easy! That room temperature goat cheese, though; it adds a tangy creaminess that somehow rounds out all the flavors! Basically it’s everything you need in your salad that doesn’t really feel like a salad at all because it’s got so many flavor and texture elements that keep every bite slightly different.
Don’t be scared by the idea of grilling peaches/nectarines or that zucchini. Brush everything with a little olive oil and it’s grilled to smoky, tender perfection in only 8 minutes! Just make sure that you cut the zucchini rounds into thick slices so that you can easily flip them. And you don’t want the peach/nectarine to be overly ripe. It needs to still be a little firm so that it doesn’t fall apart on you while grilling.
BTW did you know that in Ireland and England they call arugula rocket?! I learned this the very first night I was in Ireland for my study abroad semester in college. I ordered a pizza that was described as having rocket on it. I asked the waiter what rocket is and she said it’s a lettuce. When I got the pizza I was surprised to see that it was arugula. Rocket is way more fun than arugula, don’t you think? LOVE Europe! Random fact/story of the day!
Friends, I know that I have been talking a lot about making the most of the end of summer produce and foods. I have been showing a little bit of resistance for heading into fall. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall and am looking forward to it for many reasons. With so many people already pining over pumpkin spiced lattes and already planning for Halloween I know I need to stay focused on the present. Otherwise I find I don’t truly enjoy the last warm summer days and before I know it it’s the dead of winter and I somehow missed the transition into fall. These Grilled Peach and Zucchini Summer Bowls are my way of reminding you (and me) to really enjoy this time, this season that we are in right now! Don’t rush it. Cherish it.
P.S. I wrote this post yesterday and then today I listened to this podcast called “Flowing with Changing Seasons and Shifting Priorities” by Jess Lively. It focuses a lot on how to stay focused on the current season of the weather or in your life so that we can truly enjoy the time that we are in. I thought it fit perfectly with the feelings I was trying to share in this blog post. I hope you find it to be as inspiring and helpful as I do. If you listen I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below, or on Instagram: @robustrecipes.
- 1 cup raw quinoa
- 2 cups water (or sub vegetable broth for more flavor)
- BALSAMIC DRESSING:
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 ears raw sweet corn kernels cut off the cob
- 2 handfuls arugula
- 2 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- GRILLED PEACHES/ZUCCHINI:
- 2 peaches (or nectarines), slightly under-ripe, not too soft, cut in half and pit removed
- 2 medium zucchinis cut into 1 inch thick rounds
- 2 to 3 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- To a small sauce pot add the raw quinoa and the 2 cups water/broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is cooked fluff it with a fork. Allow it to cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- BALSAMIC DRESSING:
- While the quinoa is cooking prepare the dressing. Add all ingredients to a small mason jar and shake until well combined. Or whisk together in a small bowl.
- Test and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.
- Also prepare these according to what's indicated in the ingredients, while the quinoa is cooking.
- GRILLED PEACHES/ZUCCHINI:
- Preheat your grill on a low heat.
- Brush a generous amount of the oil onto each zucchini slice facing up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Also brush the cut side of the peaches with oil ( but don't sprinkle with salt and pepper).
- Place the zucchini and the peaches on the preheated grill, oil side down. Close the lid and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Just before flipping, oil the side up. Flip and cook the zucchini for another 4 minutes and the peaches for another 2 minutes.
- Just before serving, while the grilled zucchini and peaches are still warm, assemble your bowl.
- First toss the arugula with a little of the balsamic dressing. It's also good if you toss a little dressing into the quinoa.
- Add the arugula to the serving bowl, add a little quinoa, add the sweet corn. Then add several slices of grilled zucchini and 1 to 2 peach halves. Top with a spoon of room temperature goat cheese.
- Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator separately. The grilled zucchini is okay reheated after it's grilled, but the peaches are best when freshly grilled.
NOTE: The picture in this post features nectarines instead of peaches. I have made this recipe with both fruits and they are equally delicious. I used whichever looked best at the store at the time.
Nutrition Facts are a rough estimate of 3 servings. However, I did have quite a bit of quinoa leftover that wasn’t eaten with this meal at all, which I don’t mind. If you have quinoa leftover, it freezes nicely. I also had corn leftover. It’s hard to calculate the nutrition facts to be exact when the recipe is an assemble-how-you-prefer-it kind of meal. For example, Some may want more arugula and less corn, or only one half of a peach etc. Keep that in mind when looking at the nutrition facts and when assembling your own bowl! 🙂