Char Grilled Zucchini Tapenade

By Tom Mitchell-Dawson

Chargrilling zucchini is a great way to add a beautiful smokiness to this dish and coupled with the bold tapenade, it creates a quick summer sharing plate with lashings of flavor. If the weather permits, this recipe can also be cooked on the barbecue and enjoyed as a side to grilled meat and fish.

Tapenade is quick to make, using only a few ingredients and is an easy way to bring some richness to what is otherwise a very light dish. The seasoning of the dish comes in three parts; salt, pepper and red wine vinegar. Acidity is very important in the recipe to balance out the briny saltiness of the olives. I use my Cole and Mason oil and vinegar pourers for this. Their adjustable pour speeds allows for precision when seasoning such delicate flavors such as zucchini  

Serves: 4 (as a side)

Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 zucchini 
  • 50g Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 50g green olives, pitted
  • 1 small clove of garlic 
  • 1/2 tbsp capers 
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 shallot, diced 
  • Grated parmesan 


  1. Begin by making the tapenade. Put the pitted olives in a small food processor with the capers and garlic and pulse until a rough texture is formed. Add a tbsp of olive oil season with red wine vinegar and black pepper then set aside.
  1. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat while you slice the zucchini into 1cm thick discs. When the pan is hot add the zucchini and cook until you have formed deep bar marks, then flip over and repeat on the other side. You may have to do this in batches.
  1. When all the zucchini are cooked, remove from the pan and add to a bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil then season with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
  1. Plate the zucchini on a plate then spoon over the tapenade. Toss over the diced shallot and a few basil leaves then finish with freshly grated parmesan.

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