Grilled Baby Vegetables with Garlic-Saffron Butter

Baby zucchini squash are becoming more popular at summer farmers’ markets, and they make a gorgeous presentation. You can also make this recipe with regular zucchini and summer squash: Simply cut into half-moon shapes about ½ inch thick and cook directly on your grill (no need to parcook ahead of time).

Check out this page for more delicious summer recipe ideas using seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Photo Credit: 

Vezzani Photography/


2 tablespoons table salt, plus extra for vegetables
1 pound baby carrots
1 pound whole baby zucchini
1 pound whole baby pattypan squash
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic–Saffron Butter (see accompanying recipe)


Bring a large (5- to 6-quart) pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Add carrots, zucchini, and squash; cook just until crisp-tender, 3–4 minutes (carrots may need an additional few minutes, depending on thickness). Drain. Plunge vegetables into ice water to stop cooking; drain.

Place 12 wooden skewers in water to cover; let soak 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set up your grill for direct medium heat (about 350˚F).

Thread vegetables onto skewers. Brush with oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Grill vegetables 4–5 minutes each side, or to desired degree of doneness. Serve warm with Garlic–Saffron Butter.

Garlic–Saffron Butter


1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Try this flavored butter on anything grilled: veggies, chicken, fish, or bread.

In a small (1- to 2-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat, warm wine until just steaming, 4–5 minutes. Pour into a heatproof cup; sprinkle saffron threads over top and stir. Set aside.

Return saucepan to heat; add olive oil and garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic is translucent, 3–4 minutes. Pour saffron/wine mix back into pan and whisk together; then set aside to cool.

Using an electric or standing mixer, beat butter, parsley, salt, and pepper at medium speed until blended. Gradually add in wine mixture, beating until liquid is incorporated. Chill in an airtight container until firm, at least 40 minutes. Yield: about 1-½ cups


8-10 servings

Preparation Time: 

30 minutes

Start to Finish Time: 

50 minutes

Preparation Method

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I grill fresh veggies all the

I grill fresh veggies all the time and have for years, nothing beats having the whole meal grilled! Instead of using baby anything, just slice the veggies lengthwise about 1/4-1/2-inch thick, spray with canned spray, (canola is healthy!)and grill. no finer way to have freshness from the garden unless it's raw!! been cooking this way for over 30yrs!! ;-}