November 2014

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Reinventing an Icon

By Troy Gagliardo | Photography by Richard Rudisill

Posted: Friday, Aug. 08, 2014

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

"Chef Troy" Gagliardo hosts a weekly cooking segment called "Troy's Everyday Eats" live every Tuesday on WCCB News Rising from 7 to 9 a.m. He has made over 300 appearances on the show showcasing over 1000 of his unique original recipes. He was also voted one of the Top Five best chefs in Charlotte in 2013. Troy has penned a cookbook called Pseudo Southern, which has been endorsed by celebrity chef and best selling author Fabio Viviani. His business Motown Spice Provisions supplies some of the top restaurants and country clubs in the greater Charlotte area for the past 10 years. He is a self-taught chef who learned early on the importance of family and food, and the connection between both, from his parents and grandparents. Contact him at Visit, and follow Troy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Reinventing a classic dish is something most chefs revel, thrive on and downright challenge ourselves to make better than the original. More times than not, it is a dish that is famous for its simplicity, its flavor and probably created by accident.

Twisting a classic is just a fun as reinventing one, like this version of a Caprese Salad. The twist is to replace the sliced tomato with zucchini and yellow squash; elevating it by lightly oiling, seasoning and charring them on the grill. The addition of a grill roasted red bell pepper, the traditional fresh milk mozzarella and basil pesto makes this the perfect rip off of the true Italian classic that has been copied note for note many times over.

Put this one in your summer rotation and throughout the rest of the year by using what is fresh and available; who knows maybe you will create the next “classic” recipe.

For more great recipes from Chef Troy visit and be sure to catch Troy on WCCB Charlotte’s Rising morning show every week 7-9 am for “Troy’s Everyday Eats” cooking show.

Grilled Squash & Zucchini Caprese Salad w/ Pesto

• 1 Each-Yellow Squash-ends removed, cut into rounds, 1/2” thick

• 1 Each-Zucchini-ends removed, cut into rounds

• 1 Each-Red Bell Pepper-roasted, skin, stem and seeds removed, cut into

• 1 Ball-Fresh Mozzarella Cheese-cut into thin 1/2 rounds

• To Drizzle-Olive Oil

• To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix-or kosher salt and black pepper

• To Drizzle-Balsamic Vinegar (glaze)


• 4 Ounces-Fresh Basil-about 2 cups

• 2 Cloves-Fresh Garlic-peeld

• 2 Tablespoons-Unsalted Butter

• 2 Ounces-Pinenuts-or walnuts, almonds, cashews

• To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper

• 1 1/2 Cups-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

• 4 Ounces-Parmesan Cheese-grated, about 1 cup


1. Place all ingredients except oil/cheese in a food processor (blender) and process until smooth.

2. With food processor still running slowly add oil until all has been incorporated.

3. Empty puree into a large mixing bowl, add cheese, mix to combine and set aside while preparing the vegetables.

4. Preheat grill for direct heat grilling to medium high heat.

5. Drizzle squash/zucchini with olive oil and season with spice mix.

6. Grill squash/zucchini on both sides, just until slightly charred, place on a plate and let cool to room temperature.

7. On individual plates (or a serving platter) alternate vegetables with a slice of fresh mozzarella around plate/platter.

8. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil on vegetables. Place a scoop of the pesto in middle of the plate/platter and serve.

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