If there’s anything I look forward to all year long, it’s the abundance of fresh summer produce. Except for one or two years that I can remember, my parents didn’t have a vegetable garden but I have vivid memories of making the rounds – windows down, hot and humid summer air blowing in – to local farm stands with my mom each August to seek out the best tomatoes and sweet corn in the area.
I can still give you directions to no less that seven different farm stands we frequented each summer, even after all these years!
This grilled sweet corn and zucchini panzanella salad is the ultimate tribute to summer’s best foods and with the fresh herb vinaigrette I added to the mix, I dare you to turn this down.
Let’s start with a little talk about the herb vinaigrette, shall we?
OK, first off, a really great vinaigrette will be one of your best recipes in the kitchen. You can drizzle it over salads and sandwiches. Or you can marinate chicken or pork in it.
To make a basic vinaigrette, you’ll whisk 1 part oil with 1 part vinegar or citrus juice (lemon, lime, etc.).
If you want to turn things up a notch, the addition of fresh herbs to a vinaigrette kicks up the flavor of this dressing and can literally brighten the flavor of a whole meal.
As far as what herbs you should use for an herb vinaigrette, the choice is yours! My recipe here contains fresh parsley, oregano, and chives because that’s what I had on hand when I made it. But thyme, rosemary, and marjoram would all make for a nice vinaigrette too.
[If you want to learn about how to grow your own herbs, I’ve written a bit about the 8 best herbs to grow in your home garden. It’s a really informative read with TONS of recipe suggestions for the herbs you grow!]
The corn, zucchini, and French baguette are all drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and then grilled to lightly charred perfection so there’s no need for the oven or stove. Let’s just add this one to my light meals for hot nights list!
I tossed a bunch of cherry tomatoes from our garden in before mixing everything up with the herb vinaigrette and then we both devoured dinner. Even after we’ve eaten this meal twice in the past two weeks, you can bet it’s not going anywhere until local corn has vanished from the farm stands and markets.
That won’t be a moment too soon!
And to sweeten the deal with this grilled sweet corn and zucchini panzanella salad, I’m also giving you the chance to win one of these gorgeous cutting boards from CuttingBoard.com! As you know, cutting boards are used for everything from chopping & dicing ingredients, while preparing a dish, to allowing meat to rest and then be sliced and served…to gorgeous vehicles to set out your party food and for endless amounts of blog photos (ahem…).
CuttingBoard.com is a boutique retailer of cutting boards and butcher blocks. They also happen to carry one of the widest selections of John Boos boards and take care to house their boards in a climate and humidity controlled warehouse.
Now, I have been coveting a John Boos cutting board for years and I was lucky enough work with one of the John Boos boards they carry for this post. This hardwood maple board just blew me away. In the past couple of months, I have been sharpening my go-to knife way more than I would like and I have been wondering if I need to get my knives professionally sharpened.
Nope, it’s the cutting boards I have been using that are preventing a nice smooth chop. My knife tore through the veggies and herbs for this salad on the Boos board like it was brand new – talk about blowing me away!
Aside from carrying a wide variety of fantastic quality boards, CuttingBoard.com is proud to source products that are certified sustainable, renewable or reclaimed, making them unique from other physical and online stores. They believe in a commitment to quality and environmental stewardship, so all of the products in their store adhere to these principles. They are also a member of 1% For the Planet and donate a portion of each sale to charity toward environmental causes.
As a genuine small business, CuttingBoard.com takes pride in ensuring that their customers are always happy when shopping with them. These are things I can get behind.
If you are looking for recipe & entertaining inspiration and would also like to see the cutting boards that inspired them, check out the recipes for Pulled Pork Pizza, BBQ Chicken Puffs, Ancho Smoked Pork, Easy Macaroni Salad, Chipotle Chili Fish Tacos With Peach Pineapple Salsa, Maple Bacon Bread, Chicken Cordon Blue Pizza, Casual Entertaining / Cheese Board, and Buffalo Chicken Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing.
Many thanks to CuttingBoard.com for sponsoring this giveaway!
For the fresh herb vinaigrette:
- 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1 tbsp very finely minced shallot
- 1 tsp regular or light mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp table salt
- Ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley or chives (I used both)
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme, tarragon, marjoram, or oregano
For the panzanella salad:
- 2-3 ears corn, silk and husks removed
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into long ¼-inch planks
- 4 oz cherry tomatoes, halved if needed
- 1 French baguette, sliced horizontally into two pieces through the equator
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Whisk the vinegar, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper together in a 2 cup glass measuring cup; set aside. Chop all of the herbs and set aside.
- Drizzle the corn, zucchini, and cut side of the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the corn for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes to prevent burning; the zucchini for 2-3 minutes per side; and the bread until both sides are nicely toasted, about 4 minutes total.
- Cut the corn off the cob, slice the zucchini into 1-inch pieces, and cut the bread into 1-inch pieces. Toss the corn, zucchini, bread, and tomatoes in a large salad bowl.
- In a thin steady stream, quickly whisk the oil into the dressing ingredients until the mixture has thickened. Stir in the herbs.
- Toss the dressing with the salad ingredients and serve immediately.
Smells Like Home original | vinaigrette adapted from Cook's Illustrated
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- Weber Genesis Ii E310 Lp Grill, Three-Burner Black
- OXO SteeL 9-Inch Better Wire Whisk
- Pyrex Prepware 1-Cup Measuring Cup, Clear with Red Measurements
- DRAGONN Premium Set of 12-inch and 9-inch Stainless-Steel Locking Kitchen Tongs, Set of 2
- J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC Hollow Edge Santoku Knife 7-inch Black/Stainless Steel
- Acacia Round Flair Serving Bowl for Fruits or Salads, Large, 12-inch diameter x 4.5-inches high