Thursday, November 20, 2014

Zippy Zucchini Bites

I made these zippy zucchini bites for my coworker's birthday (along with these). I call them zippy zucchini bites because I couldn’t remember the name from the original recipe I found on Pinterest when my coworkers asked me what they were. I called them zippy because they have sweet mint, spicy harissa, zesty lime & tangy goat cheese all rolled up into one little tasty bite, hence the original name. To me that warrants the name zippy, which is also just fun to say & who doesn’t love some alliteration(? <— nerd alert).

I’d make these again. You can make them ahead of time. I chilled mine overnight & then served them at room temperature. I think they’d be a perfect fresh bite for pre-Thanksgiving appetizers because they’re not heavy & really easy to eat! They're also gluten-free & a great non-carb to have on the table. Plus, any kind of rolled appetizer always looks super pretty & fancy, so your guests will be super impressed.

Ingredients (recipe adapted from Blogging Over Thyme’s Zucchini Bites with Harissa, Goat Cheese, Lime & Mint)

  • 1 lb (roughly two zucchini, preferably long & at least an inch in diameter), sliced into 1/8" inch lengths
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon finely minced fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon harissa (make your own like I did with this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeeze lime juice
  • salt
  • pepper
Vinaigrette Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chiffonade of mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon harissa
  • salt
  • pepper
Make it!
  1. In medium sized bowl, combine goat cheese (room temperature), harissa paste, fresh mint, lime juice, zest, & olive oil.
  2. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. Using a mandolin, carefully slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Set the slices aside in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Drizzle the slices lightly with extra virgin olive & season lightly with salt & pepper. Use your hands to carefully toss the zucchini, so each slice is very lightly covered with oil. I found it easier to toss them in a bowl then the original recipe’s baking sheet but you can do whatever works for you.
  5. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat.
  6. Add slices in batches and allow to brown on each side--avoid overcrowding the pan. I did a bunch of batches. Take your time & get those pretty grill marks on each side.
  7. Carefully remove & set aside on a large plate or clean baking sheet (once the zucchini is grilled, it will be much more delicate, so be careful not to manhandle it too much.).
  8. Assemble the bites:
  9. One at time, lay the zucchini slices on a work surface & using a butter knife or small offset spatula, spread a very thin layer of the goat cheese mixture evenly onto each slice (not too much, as you don't want to overpower the flavor of the zucchini).
  10. Starting with one end, roll up into small rolls and set aside.
  11. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices.
  12. Drizzle a serving platter lightly with the vinaigrette (optional), top with the zucchini rolls, & serve at room temperature. If you're not serving these bites right away hold off on the vinaigrette & add it right before you serve them.

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