Zucchini Provencal

Zucchini Provencal

Serves 20 hors d'oeuvres
  • Appetizers

Ingredients 

  • 3 zucchini, preferably straight and thin (1- to 1 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ripe heirloom or vine tomatoes, seeded, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup arugula, washed and chiffonade in thin julienne
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese or soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive tapenade
  • 1 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade in thin julienne
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Garnish (optional): 6 red and 6 yellow grape or teardrop tomatoes

Method 

Preheat oven to 350º F.

  1. Wash zucchini and cut into 1 1/2-inch rounds. With a small melon baller, scoop out the center pulp of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the inner sides and bottom of the squash rounds.
  2. Place zucchini hollowed side down on a cookie sheet lightly brushed with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 7 to 10 minutes in 350F oven until lightly softened. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the tomatoes. Cook until heated throughout.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes until liquid has reduced but the tomatoes should still hold their shape. Remove from heat.
  5. Allow to cool, then stir in the arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Presentation

 

  1. Turn cooled zucchini cups face up. Place 1 teaspoon of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the cup.
  2. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of ricotta atop the tomatoes.
  3. Top the ricotta mixture with 1/4 teaspoon of tapenade.
    Note: You can complete the hors d'oeuvres to step 3 up to 3 hours in advance and refrigerate.
  4. Before serving, allow cups to come up to room temperate (or warm lightly in a low oven 2 to 3 minutes). Garnish the top with basil.
  5. Cut the 6 red and 6 yellow tomatoes in half lengthwise. Line the tomatoes along the sides of a square serving platter, alternating colors.
  6. Turn the platter so it is diagonal to you. Line up the finished zucchini cups on the platter in straight rows.

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