Lemon Garlic Grilled Chicken and Veggies

Compound butters are an excellent way to add extra flavor while putting all the effort up front when making a larger batch. As a result, a baked potato becomes a stunning side to steak and that steak gets finished with a dollop of intense flavor. And when it comes to grilling, finishing a grilled dish with a generous slathering of a good compound butter takes it from a summer favorite to a summer must have!

This time around, I'm sharing two recipes. The first is a delightfully simple lemon garlic scape butter that can be assembled in a food processor. The recipe below makes about a half cup, but you can multiply it easily and keep some tucked away in the freezer for use later. If you do not have garlic scapes, substitute 2 garlic cloves per garlic scape and carry on.

Lemon Garlic Scape Butter

  • 1-2 garlic scapes, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • Zest from 1/4 of a lemon

Add the pieces of garlic scape to the bowl of a food processor and chop until fine.

Add the softened butter and the lemon zest to the garlic scapes. Puree in the food processor until all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Refrigerate until use or freeze for up to 3 months.

  • Yields: ½ cup
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Now here's where the magic comes in. The next recipe is a very simple lemon garlic grilled chicken and veggies dish. Can you make it and just dig in? Of course and it will be delicious. But if you want to make some summer magic, slather some of the above lemon garlic scape butter over everything when it comes off the grill. That's what I did with the batch pictured above and I want to stress that my family of three demolished everything that came off the grill. The dog was nearly inconsolable! So yeah, make the compound butter and get used to adding it to basically any savory goodies coming off the grill (and really, anything savory at all). You can thank me later.

Lemon Garlic Grilled Chicken and Veggies

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 small zucchini, ends removed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4-6 scallions
  • 1-2 garlic scapes
  • ½ lemon

Combine the first 7 ingredients (olive oil through salt & pepper) in a shallow dish and place the chicken in the mixture to marinate in the refrigerator until ready to grill. Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Prepare the grill for medium-high heat cooking (375°-400° F) with a cast iron grill plate in place. Slice the zucchini and clean the scallions and garlic scapes.

Place the chicken on one side of the grill plate and arrange the vegetables on the other side. Close the lid and grill for 7 minutes before turning everything with tongs. The scallions and garlic scapes might be done enough to remove to a serving plate already. Close the lid and grill an additional 7 minutes before lifting the lid and squeezing the lemon evenly over everything on the grill. The zucchini will likely be ready to remove to the serving plate at this point. Turn the chicken again, turn the grill off, and set the lemon, cut side down, alongside the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and allow the chicken and lemon to rest in the grill's heat for an additional 5 minutes before removing them to the serving plate as well.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus marinating time