This post is sponsored by Michelob ULTRA.
This delicious Grilled Zucchini Sandwich will get you excited about picnic weather. Packed with a lot of flavor, thanks to a homemade green olive pesto, fresh mozzarella, arugula and, the star of the show, grilled zucchini. Lip smacking good and guilt-free? What more could you possibly ask for?
I don’t want to jinx it, but I *think* spring is finally here.
Well, with my luck, we might just get slammed with another snow storm just because I typed those words. But I’m taking my chances!
My recent trip to Brazil got me excited about tropical weather and all I can think about is pool season, picnics and ice cream. It’s even more special this year because we get to enjoy all that with our little girl! Oh, I just can’t wait!
So in preparation for all the fun, I made the perfect picnic sandwich. Light, fresh and good for you, without compromising on flavor!
Because summer also mean bikinis, y’all!
Let’s talk grilled zucchini!
Real talk: I used to hate zucchini.
Okay, hate might be too strong of a word. But I really didn’t care for it! I always thought it to be bland and to have a watery, disgusting texture.
And then I became a foodie and I inevitably came across some pretty delicious zucchini. I learned that the key for tasty zucchini is to boost it with other flavors. And in my world that usually means garlic! Lots and lots of garlic.
So before I grilled the zucchini slices, I brushed them with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and, let me tell you, that really does the trick!
I couldn’t resist chomping down a few grilled zucchini slices before assembling the sandwiches. My advice to you? Be prepared! Buy more zucchini than you think you’ll need. Because, believe me, you will do the same!
As for the texture, I find that the secret for zucchini that is not a soggy mushy mess is to not slice it too thinly and to cook it on high heat.
Zucchini (and all other squash vegetables) have a very high water content, so cutting in relatively thick pieces means that there’s less surface area and therefore less opportunity for the water to escape.
When cooking, I recommend using a grill pan and pan-frying the zucchini in a single layer, very quickly, without moving the slices. The goal is to get a nice golden brown color and to get it out of the pan before it starts to seep water.
Serving suggestion: a beer that is pure gold!
You got everything ready for your picnic: your basket, your phenomenal grilled zucchini sandwiches, chips, sunscreen, etc.
And then you realize a sandwich this good needs to be served with a drink that is equally delicious! But you want to stay guilt-free – after all, bikini season is coming – so what do you do? You get some Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, of course!
Triple filtered, made with organic grains and with only 85 cals per serving (and 2.5g carbs), this beer is my best friend this summer!
It is all about balance, so sacrificing good beer in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle is not necessary.
This NEW sustainably sourced beer was born with a commitment to innovate using ingredients and inspiration from nature. It is a light lager with a superior, golden taste and brewed free of artificial colors and flavors.
Michelob ULTRA gives you the permission to make healthier choices, while still ending off the day with an ice cold beer that you can feel great about drinking.
But something that sounds this wonderful probably comes with a catch, right? Right.
The catch is that this pure gold beer is being produced in limited quantities, so make sure to go get some ASAP!
I really can’t decide what part of it all I love the most. The amazing beer that won’t give you a beer belly? The mouth-watering sandwich that is not full of mayo and processed ingredients? The sunshine? The breeze by the lake? Oh, it’s all too wonderful!
Don’t get me wrong, my usual indulgent stuff will probably make a come back here on the blog soon. After all, there’s a time and place for everything.
But to think that you can have a feast this scrumptious without any of the guilt? It’s PURE BLISS!
For the grilled zucchini:
- 1 large zucchini, trimmed and cut into 6 lengthwise slices
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the green olive pesto:
- 1/2 cup green olives (pitted)
- 10 basil leaves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the sandwiches:
- 8 slices of your favorite sandwich bread, lightly toasted
- 16 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- About 2 cups baby arugula, rinsed and dried
Make the green olive pesto:
- Combine all the pesto ingredients in the jar of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy (although chunky is fine too, if you prefer). Reserve.
Grill the zucchini:
- Preheat grill pan (or outdoor grill) over medium high heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Generously brush the zucchini slices on both sides with the infused oil.Place zucchini on grill and cook, working in batches so you always have a single layer, until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Do not overcook or it will get soggy.
- Transfer zucchini to plate and cut each slice in half.
Assembling the sandwiches:
- Spread both sides of each bread with a layer of the green olive pesto. Top with fresh mozzarella slices, about 3 halves of grilled zucchini slices and a handful of arugula. Sandwich with the other slice of bread and press down gently.