June 22, 2015 20

Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad

Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

I appreciate rainy days just as much as sunny ones. I love the way the rain makes the Earth smell sweet, and the soft beats it leaves on my back porch. The way it relaxes my mind and body and heart. I’m even starting to embrace the vicious thunder and lightning storms here in Missouri. Really, they are wicked. The days when it pours endlessly, those are my favorite. They give me a reason to stay inside and work all day and all night if I want to without feeling guilty about it. And they lend permission to Bravo-marathoning-it in my pajamas, and baking cupcakes and eating them for dinner.

But too much rain, too much of anything is not good. And the rain in St. Louis has been relentless. Today was the first day in I think seven or eight days that it didn’t rain, at all. And it felt pretty wonderful. I wandered out to the garden after the sun rose. Early mornings here in the Midwest are my favorite – before the sun gets too hot and the humidity is still thin. Mostly all of my plants have loved all this rain, thriving because of it. There were six casualties though. The bean plants did not make it, and I think I’ll probably plant some more and see what happens.

Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

This garden has taught me a lot, mostly that gardening is an acquired skill and I have a lot to learn. And also it’s brought this person out inside of me that I never knew existed. It’s actually quite an amazing thing that’s happened. I used to be a catch-and-release kind of girl. Like trap bugs and spiders in mason jars and release them back outside, couldn’t stand to kill the smallest pest. Now I’m hissing at squirrels, cursing at rabbits and squashing green caterpillars beneath my feet. I don’t know who I am anymore, but I’ll pretty much do anything to protect my garden babies.

My garden a lot more love and devotion before we can start cashing in on its mega-bounty of tomatoes and squash and root veg and greens and others. But I have been devouring my basil plants, which are growing like crazy, they’ve especially loved all that rain. Basil is the epitome of summer, and I put it in everything. In my strawberry shortcake, and in my cocktails, and in fresh summery meals like this one, and the summer squash meal I’m sharing below.

Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

This recipe isn’t groundbreaking, but it is exactly the way I like to cook and eat in the summer. Fresh veg from my garden, or in this case my farmers’ market, grilled and loaded up with a super herby-lemony dressing. This recipe is pretty flexible, and you can use any summer squash or zucchini variety of your choice. I partnered up with Hilary’s Eat Well for this post, a brand I love and have worked with in the past. Hilary’s gets it all right, everything from their products to packaging. And they’re committed to serving up non-GMO, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, yeast, egg and nut-free food. Their veggie burgers are the only ones I eat from a package. And their dressings are outstanding, starting with their Balsamic Thyme Dressing I marinated the squash in.

Hilary’s Eat Well products are sold nationwide, use this product locator to find them nearest you.

And lastly! I’m excited to announce I’ll be writing a monthly column for FEAST Magazine called, Healthy Appetite where I’ll share seasonal recipes inspired by my garden and all that Missouri has to offer. FEAST is an online and print publication, celebrating an inspired Midwestern food culture. My first post {another version of this salad} is live now. Head over to FEAST to check it out.

Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad | @withfoodandlove

Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad {print me!}

Notes: this recipe is pretty versatile, and eggplant would swap out well for summer squash and/or zucchini. It makes 4 portions and only takes about 25 minutes to throw together. It’s delicious served warm or cold, so it could be prepared ahead of time. Garlic scapes are in season for a short time at the beginning of the summer. They’re delicious grilled on their own, but for more ideas on how to prepare them click here.


  • 4 summer squash and/or zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Hilary’s Balsamic Thyme Dressing {or make your own}
  • 2 lemons
  • large bunch garlic scapes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful parsley, chopped
  • handful basil, chopped
  • sea salt + pepper, to taste

Cut the summer squash into long strips and marinate them in the balsamic dressing for about 10 – 15 minutes. Cut the lemons in half and prepare the garlic scapes by trimming the ends.

Grill both sides of the squash until charred lightly. Place the lemons cut side down and grill for a few minutes, until charred. Grill the garlic scapes until golden brown. Take all of the vegetables off the grill and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the olive oil, cherry tomatoes, chopped herbs and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Chop up the garlic scapes and toss them in. Next, squeeze in the lemon juice from the charred lemons and toss the salad together to combine well.

Plate the grilled squash, and top it with the tomato salad, and freshly cracked pepper.

This post is sponsored by Hilary’s Eat Well; all opinions are my own.

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20 Responses to "Balsamic Grilled Summer Squash with Lemony Garlic Scape Tomato Salad"

  1. Reply


    June 23, 2015 at 3:24 AM

    Oh, I so wish I could sit down with you over a drink and talk gardens (I too have become the crazy lady shooing away animals and prowling around my plants trying to catch anything that looks like it might attack them). Plus what I wouldn’t give right now for a plate of this beautiful salad – so bright + fresh + wonderful.

    • Reply


      July 3, 2015 at 3:00 PM

      Drinks + garden talk with you would be the best, some day, some how!!

  2. Reply

    lynsey | lynseylovesfood

    June 23, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    oh what a great summer recipe! love the garden. that is a thing of dreams to this condo dweller. xo

  3. Reply

    Leah @ Grain Changer

    June 23, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    This looks absolutely WONDERFUL and just screams summer. Love the addition of garlic scapes, too. I can’t stop adding them to just about everything!

  4. Reply


    June 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    I have a friend (former neighbor) who FEEDS squirrels. As neighbors, we had to negotiate an agree-to-disagree policy in order to remain friends, especially after I spotted the fifth one-bite-missing strawberry thrown down on the garden path (this was also after too, too many one-bite-missing abandoned peaches). Squirrels are pretty awful, and I gleefully fed all green tomato hornworms to my chickens, with a deep and fierce vindictiveness in my black-soil heart…

    But I’m quite sweet to beneficial insects, worms, and the animals that eat the animals that try to eat gardens. Be very glad you don’t yet have raccoons, possums, or deer attacking your garden–I went from an animal-loving anti-hunter conservationist to a vocally pro-hunter anti-deer person during the five seconds it took to take in the amount of damage they’d done to my very first garden!

    • Reply


      July 3, 2015 at 3:29 PM

      The first day we put our beds in there were racoons in our backyard!! We put up a fence around our boxes a few days later and haven’t seen them since, thankfully. I never knew having a garden would mean so much protecting and cursing and threatening to kill anything that comes to close, haha.

  5. Reply


    June 23, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    this all looks so good sherrie! and i hear you about all the rain; we’ve been getting hit hard most days with tons of downpours, but my plants are thriving because of it, so i can’t really complain i suppose. your raised beds! they’re beauts (pink flamingos for the win!) :) and congrats on your FEAST column, it looks awesome! xo

    • Reply


      July 3, 2015 at 3:33 PM

      I owe the pink flamingos to Chris, he promised me raised beds, I promised him flamingos ;)

      And, thank you, xo!!

  6. Reply

    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    June 23, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Your garden is so legit! I’m in love! And congrats on your food column on FEAST, how exciting (!!!). Hope you’re having a stellar day, now go chase some squirrels! ;)

  7. Reply

    Kalee @ The Crowded Table

    June 23, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    There’s nothing better than fresh veggies straight from the garden! I just picked some cherry tomatoes last night, and this recipe will be a perfect way to use them!

  8. Reply

    Alissa | The Solstice Table

    June 23, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    Seriously so glad to hear I’m not the only one hissing at squirrels!!! They drive me up the wall – constantly digging at everything I have planted. Your garden looks incredible – quite impressive!

  9. Reply


    June 23, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    I am OBSESSED with our garden. It’s the first year we’ve really gotten into it and it’s such a joy. Presently, everymorning we wake up and grab some strawberries from the garden. It’s bliss. Adn when I need basil – it’s just there. A dream! So I can relate to your excitement. (Plus we have black flies and I hate them and also lots of neighbourhood cats. I can’t help splashing them wth water. So sorry).
    Oh and congrats on the feature in FEAST. Amazing

  10. Reply


    June 25, 2015 at 9:09 PM

    Love this recipe thank you! And check on those green caterpillars….they may be Viceroy butterflies

    • Reply


      July 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM

      They’re white cabbage moths, and they’re relentless!

  11. Reply

    Sarah | Well and Full

    June 26, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    I love Hilary’s Eat Well dressings! The chia ranch is my favorite :) Also, I am so jealous of the pictures of your garden…. I’m dying to have one of my own and not just a mess of potted plants on my windowsills. A girl can dream!!

    • Reply


      July 3, 2015 at 4:04 PM

      Keep the dream alive! It took me over 10 years :)

  12. Reply


    June 27, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    Delishous recipe. I’m at work right now, and thinking dinner after your recipe Post. But 12 hr shift, so over 4 hrs from now !!!!!

    I wonder what you could intice those squirlly squirls to eat, instead of your garden ??? Something at the fence line ?

    Also, I bought a barking dog , in a box,plugs in to electric, responds to movement, then barked like a loony dog. Might scare them off !

    • Reply


      July 3, 2015 at 5:16 PM

      We put out a bird feeder across the yard with loads of seeds that they seem to love and so far so good. But, our tomatoes aren’t out yet and we’ll have to keep plenty of water in the yard so they don’t turn to those babies! I’ll keep you all posted, thanks for reading Joan, xo.

  13. Reply


    July 2, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    wow…..I just made this for dinner…..fresh veggies from the garden….A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!!! My hubby and I both loved it, and ate it as the main course, not missing meat at all!! thanks so much, will definatley make again!!

    • Reply


      July 3, 2015 at 5:27 PM

      Laura, you are so welcome. I’m so happy to hear you loved it, made my day!

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With Food + Love © 2018 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.