Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Little Taste of Spring: Zucchini Rounds

Spring break has come and gone. The semester has come and almost gone and now... spring has already come and unfortunately gone back into hibernation. I came back to 75 degree weather and sunny skies in Bloomington, however it's back down to 35 degrees in just one day. (Boo!)

During those quick days of spring, I wanted to make a fresh appetizer/side.

My mom and I love going to Caputo's and getting Prosciutto sandwiches, while we go on an ingredient shopping spree. They have any kind of cheese and a deli full of all sorts of Italian delights. If you go- I highly suggest the Stuffed Red Pepper Poppers (spicy goodness!).

While we were there over break, I picked up some imported goat cheese which is what inspired me to make the latest recipe. Crunchy Zucchini Rounds- thanks to Gale Gand's Brunch!. They are perfect for not only brunch, but also can be served as an appetizer, side or an afternoon snack.

You need to plan in advance to make the homemade roasted tomatoes. They are time intensive because they require 2 hours in the oven to roast, but you only have to watch them occasionally. If you are in a hurry, feel free to substitute sun-dried tomatoes. I highly suggest making the roasted tomatoes though. They are absolutely amazing and melt in your mouth. Plus you can use them to complement other dishes! For instance, they are great on top of pastas or on sandwiches.

Notes:
The Oven Roasted Tomatoes recipe calls for herbes de Provence, which I don't usually have on hand in my pantry. However, I used a mix of thyme and rosemary and they tasted fantastic.

Note to self: Buy herbes de Provence.

Crunchy Zucchini Rounds
Ingredients
1 zucchini
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Oven Roasted Tomatoes (recipe below)
3 oz fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives
olive oil

Directions
  1. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds and lay them out on a platter. You should have about 9-10. I was cooking for just me- so you can slice up another zucchini if you have guests!
  2. Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Place 1 slice of roasted tomato on each zucchini slice.
  4. Pinch a bit of goat cheese on top of each tomato piece. Sprinkle with the chopped chives, drizzle with the olive oil, and serve.

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Ingredients
3 plum tomatoes
olive oil
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence (or substitute with 1 teaspoon of Thyme and 1 teaspoon of Rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut the tomatoes into quarters lengthwise. Lay them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with your seasonings, salt and pepper.
  2. Roast in the oven for about 2 hours, until the tomatoes are dried and wrinkled and their edges look lightly toasted.
  3. Check occasionally to make sure the edges aren't getting too brown. If they are, turn the oven temperature down to 200 degrees.
  4. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Let the tomatoes come to room temperature before serving.

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Maggie

1 comment:

  1. This is such a beautiful appetizer and the flavors are so well combined!

    ReplyDelete