Summer is here and with it comes a bounty of produce. Although my zucchini plant is just at the blossoming stage now, I know that one day i’ll blink my eyes and suddenly i’ll have more squash than I know what to do with. So, before we get to that desperate stage when we have zucchini coming out our ears, I present to you this simple and delicious grilled zucchini crostini.
These crostini are are great as a party snack and are particularly delicious with salty olives and a glass of wine. We start by slicing the zucchini into ribbons and grilling them to get a little char and smokiness. This can be done on the grill if you already have it lit, but I cooked mine in a grill pan on the stove and they were great. Once the zucchini are cooked we briefly marinate them in balsamic vinegar to add sweetness and tang.
Picking our bread is important here since not only is it the base of our entire dish, but since there are so few ingredients we want to pick each one with care. Any good bread that you like will work, but try to pick one that will be nicely crunchy once toasted, so stay away from whole wheat and sandwich loaves. A country style loaf or focaccia would be particularly nice here. I used a rosemary focaccia for an extra layer of flavor.
Once we have our zucchini cooked and bread toasted, we’re ready to assemble the crostini. Drizzle the toasts with a good quality olive oil — or may I suggest the oil from garlic confit? Then layer some torn fresh mozzarella and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a few zucchini ribbons on top and season with another small pinch of salt and some red pepper flakes.
Zucchini and fresh mozzarella have delicate flavors, so if you want you can add a leaf of fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for an extra pop. You should also feel free use any cheese or other toppings you like. I think goat cheese and prosciutto would be a welcome spin here.
- 3 zucchini (about 1 lb)
- Olive oil
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Red pepper flakes
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella
- 1 clove garlic
- Good bread such as country loaf or focaccia
- Slice zucchini lengthwise into strips about ½ cm thick. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan or grill over high heat and sear zucchini until it slightly chars on the edges, flipping halfway through. Remove to a plate or bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar.
- Slice bread into appetizer sized portions (about 2” x 2”). Toast until just golden brown on the edges and immediately rub with the cut side of a halved garlic clove.
- Drizzle the toasts with olive oil, layer some hand torn mozzarella, season with a sprinkle of salt, then top with 2 folded over zucchini strips. Season with another sprinkle of salt and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Feel free to get creative with the toppings - different cheeses, charcuterie, fresh herbs and extra vinegar would be all be great here.