Thursday, November 1, 2012

Friday Night Bites | Zucchini Crostini



Can you believe that today is November first?  I am grappling with how quickly time is going this year.  I know fall is upon us, since we in the Bay Area have already had a few rain storms along with our Indian summer.  This weekend it really hits home, we turn the clocks forward.  Yikes – it will be dark so early.  The good news is that it gets lighter earlier, which will make easier to get out of bed during the work week.


It is also time for Friday Night Bites - my weekly series that highlights a tasty appetizer along with a delightful wine pairing.  While browsing through recipes a few weeks ago, I came across this recipe for Zucchini Crostini. I altered it slightly. Say “Zucchini Crostini” a few times out loud and you will begin to laugh.  Are you laughing yet? Smile.


I am completely game for a fun Crostini that packs bursts of flavors and this one certainly did not disappoint.  My hubby is not a zucchini fan; however, over the years I have been able to convert him.  He certainly enjoys my zucchini soup and my stuffed zucchini with sausage and melted mozzarella cheese.  Now with this appetizer, I can add another zucchini favorite to the list.  The key is to make the mixture at least an hour ahead of time to let the flavors meld together, then top the toasted Crostini.


I pulled a 1998 V. Sattui Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from our wine cellar to enjoy.  As my hubby said, it had that “library smell”, which means you could tell that it was aged well.   He associates the library smell with the scent from old library books, which is a good thing I guess. Smile.  The library scent can also be translated to black truffle, cedar, dusty earth and leather which were present on the nose.  On the palate, deep black cherry, wild blackberry and plum and chocolate were evident.  Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable wine that we enjoyed with our zucchini Crostini. 


(My Instagram photo of our wine)

Zucchini Crostini

Makes 20

3 to 4 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup shredded basil

2/3 cup marcona almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra to brush crostinis)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Sour dough baguette, cut into ½ inch slices (About 20)

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the zucchini. Place the shredded zucchini in the middle of a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of salt. Let sit for 5 minutes, then squeeze the towel to remove excess moisture. Repeat until as much liquid as possible has been released, then transfer the zucchini to a bowl.

Add the garlic, basil, almonds, thyme, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon juice, lemon zest and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil to the zucchini; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate for an hour.

Brush each slice of the baguette with olive oil on both sides and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Flip the Crostini halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning.  Add more time if needed until each one is golden brown. Let cool. Top each slice of bread with about 3 tablespoon* of the zucchini pesto and serve immediately.



15 comments:

  1. Sounds delish! I could go for a few of your crostinis, okay-maybe more than a few,lol! They really look and sound good Lisa- so happy it's almost Friday and time to relax;-)_

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  2. these look amazing as always great for a light bite

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  3. I am a Big fan of zucchini,these look and sound delicious! Also happy it is Friday eve :)

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  4. I just threw out 2 zucchinis from my fridge today. they got old on me because i didn;t know what to do with them. if i only saw this post earlier, i would have made something as easy, yet elegant, as this!

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  5. I love crostini and bruschetta, but would have never thought of using zucchini - in fact, I even have a pinboard on pinterest just for them. Awesome new recipe for me!

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  6. This year is literally flying by! (Thanks for the time change reminder.) If I had this crostini in front of me, I'd feel much better about everything. :D Yum!!

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  7. What a pretty crostini Lisa, the flavors look wonderful, another great use of the versatile zucchini.

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  8. I am a huge fan of zucchini, these crostini are perfect to me!

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  9. Lovely recipe for an ardent zucchini lover :) ! Make stuff similar all the time but am very happy to get new ideas :D ) !

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  10. This crostini looks perfect, I love the zucchini and marcona almonds. Wish I had a few right now! :)

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  11. I would never have thought of using zucchini for crostini but reading the way you prepared them here, I love it! The almonds are a nice touch.

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  12. Great idea Lisa! Will definitely try this. Always looking for new things to with zucchini!

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  13. As a crostini junkie, you know I will be trying this :) A delightful recipe that would work so well on any occasion...lovely!

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