This is a Tomato-fresh mozarella salad with thinly sliced, marinated and grilled zucchini.  Grilling the zucchini in very thin strips increases the amount of surface area, which prevents the squash from steaming inside and getting mushy.  When it is done cooking, the texture is both crisp and tender — balancing out the softness of the tomatoes and cheese.  You may be surprised how long the zucchini takes to cook.

Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to thinly slice 1 lb. zucchini lengthwise along the full width — a quarter inch thick or less.  Toss the squash in 1 T. olive oil and 1 T. soy sauce mixed with generous amounts of black pepper.  Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.

While the squash is marinating, heat the grill to high.  Lower the heat to medium, then lay the squash in a single layer on a grilling pan, or arrange them carefully on the grill itself perpendicular to the slats.  Cook until the undersides are nicely browned, then flip the slices individually.  Repeat until they are lightly browned on the other side.  Remove from the grill onto a plate but don’t pile them up too high or they will steam.

Cut 1 lb. ripe Tomatoes in thick slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let them sit for 5 minutes.

Slice 1/4 lb. fresh mozzarrella into pieces about the size of the tomatoes.

Make a single layer of squash slices on a large plate or serving dish.  Drizzle with 1 T. pesto.  Add a layer of tomato slices, and then a layer of mozarrella.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to taste and sprinkle with basil leaves.

Alternately, you can make “Napoleons” by layering tomatoes, squash and mozzarella in stacks and drizzle them with olive oil and pesto.