Healthy & Delicious: Zucchini Crostini

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

[Photograph: Kristen Swensson]

Like the rest of the known universe, my household has lately been besieged by zucchini. And, as is our annual custom, we're searching for new and exciting ways to prepare it. Don't get me wrong, omelettes and sautés are wonderful, but they do get a little old by Day 14 of Zucchini Apocalypse.

Enter Zucchini Crostini from YumSugar, which takes some pretty standard fillings for stuffed zucchini, sticks 'em on a toasted round, and creates an entirely new dish. Though it's more apropos as an appetizer, my fiancé and I ate half a batch for dinner one night, and the rest for lunch the next day. So, bonus points for versatility.

I did lighten the original recipe a bit, using the time-tested technique of reducing fatty ingredients by one-third. For a variety of non-baking recipes (especially Ina Garten's, for some reason), this practice saves calories without torpedoing the flavor. Here, Parmesan and almonds were slashed accordingly, and we didn't miss the excess at all. Changes are reflected below.

Beyond that, you should know that two garlic cloves will impart a very strong garlic flavor, especially if you're storing it overnight. I love garlic and can tolerate a lot, but if you're A) not as fond of it, or B) a Twilight character, drop the amount to a single clove.

With that, I'm off to discover new zucchini recipes. Because I don't know how many more omelettes I can take.

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Healthy & Delicious: Zucchini Crostini

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 25 to 30 crostini
Active time:15-20 minutes
Total time:85-90 minutes
Special equipment:Grater, dish towel, knife, cutting board, mixing bowl, measuring spoons and cup, baking sheet, brush

Ingredients

  • 3 small zucchini (about 1 pound)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup almond slices, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

Procedures

  1. 1

    Coarsely grate zucchini.

  2. 2

    Spread zucchini out over a clean dish towel (one you might not mind losing). Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt evenly over zucchini. Walk away for 5 minutes.

  3. 3

    Pack the zucchini in the middle of the towel, and squeeze it over the kitchen sink until most of the moisture is gone (and there will be a surprising amount of moisture).

  4. 4

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine strained zucchini, garlic, basil, almonds, thyme, Parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir thoroughly to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. (Go easy on the salt; you might not need it at all.) Refrigerate for one hour.

  5. 5

    When zucchini mixture is just about ready, pre-heat your broiler. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet and brush with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Broil until bread is slightly browned. (This will be quick.)

  6. 6

    Top each bread slice with a tablespoon or so of the zucchini mixture. Serve and delight in your creation.

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