Introducing a new contributor to GrillGrrrl: Chef Troy Gagliardo from my hometown of Charlotte, NC. Troy is a big griller and hosts “Tuesdays with Troy” on Fox Charlotte’s News Rising Show. Give Troy a warm welcome!
Troy: “Reinventing a classic dish is something most chefs revel, thrive on and downright challenge ourselves to make better than the original. More times than not, it is a dish that is famous for its simplicity, its flavor and probably created by accident.
Twisting a classic is just a fun as reinventing one, like this version of a Caprese Salad. The twist is to replace the sliced tomato with zucchini and yellow squash; elevating it by lightly oiling, seasoning and charring them on the grill. The addition of a grill roasted red bell pepper, the traditional fresh milk mozzarella and basil pesto makes this the perfect rip off of the true Italian classic that has been copied note for note many times over.
Put this one in your summer rotation and throughout the rest of the year by using what is fresh and available; who knows maybe you will create the next “classic” recipe.”
About Chef Troy: Chef Troy Gagliardo is the host of “Tuesdays with Troy” every week on Fox Charlotte’s Fox News Rising morning show “Tuesdays with Troy” sponsored by The Fresh Market. Troy is set to launch his spice line this summer and is soon to publish his second cookbook early next year. His first cookbook Seasonal Comfort is available through his publisher Lulu.com.
Yellow Squash & Zucchini Caprese Salad w/ Basil Pesto
Serves 2 to 4 as a Side Item or Appetizer
- 1 Each Yellow Squash-ends removed, cut into rounds, 1/2” thick
- 1 Each Zucchini-ends removed, cut into rounds
- 1 Each Red Bell Pepper-roasted, skin, stem
and seeds removed
- 1 Ball Fresh Mozzarella Cheese-cut into thin 1/2 rounds
- To Drizzle Olive Oil
- To Taste Gagliardo’s Spice Mix-or kosher salt and black pepper
- To Drizzle Balsamic Vinegar
Makes approximately 1 Cup
- 4 Ounces Fresh Basil
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 2 Ounces Almonds
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 1/2 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Ounces Parmesan Cheese-grated
Place all ingredients except the oil and cheese in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. With the food processor still running slowly add the oil until all has been incorporated. Empty the puree into a large mixing bowl, add the cheese and mix to combine, set aside while preparing the vegetables.
Preheat grill for direct heat grilling to medium high heat.
Drizzle the squash and zucchini with olive oil and season with spice mix.
Grill squash and zucchini on both sides, just until slightly charred, place on a plate and let cool to room temperature.
On individual plates or a serving platter alternate the vegetables with a slice of fresh mozzarella around the plate/platter. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top of the vegetables. Place a scoop of the pesto in the middle of the plate/platter and serve.