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Playing Grilled Zucchini Italian-Style, With Cheese + Vinaigrette

"Top Chef" winner and "Top Chef: Amateurs" guest judge Joe Flamm combines flavors from his Italian and his wife's Croatian backgrounds to create delicious recipes at his Chicago restaurant, Rose Mary. For our Italy episode, he shares two hearty, quick and easy grilled veggie dishes: this tasty baby zucchini and summer squash combo and carrots with goat cheese and pistachio pesto.  

Pro Tip from Joe: I like to leave the vegetables in big pieces so they're easier to grill, and the result is more rustic and garden-style.  


  • 2 baby zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 2 summer squash, halved lengthwise
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • Juice of ½ lemon, plus zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 ounces crescenza cheese, whipped (you can substitute ricotta)
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pink peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Calabrian chiles
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Squash blossoms (optional), to garnish


Serves: 4 as a side dish


Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. 

In a large bowl, toss the zucchini and squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and some salt. Grill them over direct heart for 2 minutes on each side, or until tender. Dress with lemon juice and salt right after they come off the grill. 

Spread the whipped cheese on a plate, sprinkle with the cracked peppercorns and arrange the grilled zucchini and squash on top.  

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, chiles, garlic, lemon zest, parsley and oregano and season with salt. 

Spoon the vinaigrette over the zucchini and squash and garnish with large torn squash blossom pieces (if using).