Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Zucchini pizza bites

"Zucchini? Yes, please. Zucchini pizza bites? Marry me!"

That's my stream of thought when I saw this recipe on The Comfort of Cooking. As I've mentioned in a previous post, zucchinis are currently my ulitmate favourite vegetable so I'm always on the lookout for recipes using these delectable moss-coloured squashes. I must have stared at the computer screen for a full minute after I stumbled upon this recipe.

I have to be honest, though, and tell you that the recipe had me at "zucchini". I didn't realize what a bonus the rest of the ingredients were until I assembled each "bite". The fun part of this recipe was that I got to play around with toppings. This made preparing and eating these little bites so much fun!

 The recipe only takes about fifteen minutes so this is definitely going into my bank of quick bites. I decided to jazz things up a bit with a few extra toppings but you can definitely make these with just the sauce, cheese and herbs.

A few extra tips for beginners:
1. Be sure to cut the zucchini slices no less than 1/4" in thickness and to grill them on medium high heat just enough to brown, NOT to cook through. This is important to ensure the zucchini slices will be firm enough to hold their toppings and keep some of their crunch.
2. If you're using relatively small zucchinis, as I was, cut them diagonally to get more surface area for your toppings.
3. Finely shred your cheese. If you're using pre-shredded ones, chop them up well. Long or thick strips of cheese might not fit well on the slices.
4. I used some left-over spaghetti sauce, but any marinara or pizza sauce should do the trick.
5. Feel free to substitute the vegetable toppings, cheese and and herbs to something of your liking.

How fabulous do these look?

Get the step-by-step guide and recipe after the jump.

Zucchini pizza bites

2 small zucchinis, cut into 1/4" slices
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
2 tsp chopped parsely
2 small mushrooms*
2 grape tomatoes*
2 tsp sliced red peppers*
1/2 tsp dried oregano*
Salt to taste

*Optional ingredients for topping

Cut two small mushrooms and 2 grape tomoatoes into quarters, toss in olive oil and roast at 350F for five minutes.

Add some colour with fresh slices of red bell pepper.

Use your choice of fresh or dried herbs for extra depth of flavour. I opted for dried oregano.

On medium high heat, brown zucchini slices for 3 minutes on each side.

Place the zucchini slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with sauce, cheese and chopped parsely.

Have fun creating your own combination of toppings.

Sprinkle dried herbs and salt to taste.

Broil for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is just melted. Let stand for one minute, sprinkle chopped parsely and serve.

Alternatively, top with fresh slices of peppers and tomatoes after broiling for a variety of textures.


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