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Friday
Aug062010

ZUCCHINI TOASTS



There are moments when the weight of something simple, gets the best of you. All the beliefs and values we have, that compose this big ol' life of ours, can get generalized or maybe even overlooked until someone or some moment or some thing breaks out and makes life quite genuine.

I was reminded yesterday of how much we need people. I have some great people around me, and I am so thankful for the different facets of relationships. All the little wedding decisions and to-do lists got the best of me yesterday, and I lost it while talking to my mom about the color of invitation paper (by lose it, I mean tears, not angry rage). We sat on my parents backyard steps, and I needed her to hug me right then and change the subject. I needed her to comfort me, and ummm, I needed her to go pick out the paper as well. I am SO excited to get married, beyond anxious, but a few tears are expected in all of this. We're not as independent as we'd like to think we are, and it's humbling to admit that we need people; that we're dependent. Sometimes I think we need to be reminded of the obvious, and sometimes it's the little things that take us there. I could keep my mini life lessons to myself, but knowing how I often get wrapped up in my own inner dialogue, I thought one of you may need to get out of your head for a second as well.

On that note, it seems avocado toast is the trendy snack of the summer. I am a partaker myself, but needed another quick snack option, that resembles the satisfying greatness that comes from goodies piled on a good slice of grainy toast. You could use any spreadable cheese of choice, but ricotta keeps everything nice and moist here. Consider making extra zucchini, then you're set for the next few snack times.

ZUCCHINI TOASTS // Makes 4 Toasts, Serves 2

1 Fresh Whole Grain Loaf
4 Zucchini (About 2 1/2 Cups when diced)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2-3 tsp. Lemon Pepper
1 tsp. Fennel Seed (optional)
Sea Salt (If your Lemon Pepper Blend DOESN'T have salt already)

1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Tbsp. Minced Shallot
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Fresh Parsley + Mint

Oven to 475'

1. Cut both end off the zucchini. Cut each in half length wise, then each long half into 4 sticks, dice. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
2. Spread zucchini on a large baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil and lemon pepper, optional fennel seed, and salt IF needed. The zucchini should have a very light coating of oil, add a bit more if need be. Use your preferences on the amount of spices too. Spread to make one even layer on the baking tray for more browning. Bake on the upper third rack for 18-20 minutes, or until they've got some good crispy edges. Remove to cool.
3. While zucchini is roasting, mix the ricotta, mustard and shallot together in a small bowl, set aside.
4. Chop even amounts parsley and mint, about 1/3 cup in total.
5. Toast your bread slices, I thought 1/2'' thick was perfect. Spread a few dollops of the ricotta mix, a sprinkle of the herb mix, pile zucchini on top, and another sprinkle of herbs. Yum.

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Reader Comments (51)

I never thought to try zucchini with fennel seed, will have to give it a go

How nice was it that your mum was there to give a hug and take the reins for a while :)

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChanel11

Love it, Sara! I, too, love avocado toast but haven't been able to get enough zucchini this summer. Love this way to eat it!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMadison Mayberry

I'm so glad everyone is remembering how awesome toast can be. I'm a long-time fan of avocado on toast and mushroom on toast, but my favourite snack at the moment is peas on toast. I use much the same flavour combinations as you've used here with the zucchini, except that my peas just get lightly steamed (usually microwaved, actually!) and mashed. So delicious!!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Hang in there Sara. I know you know this, but it may be helpful to receive a gentle reminder: Everyone at the wedding will only care about whether YOU and your significant other are having a good time. All those details will fade into oblivion, and the only only thing people will remember is how happy you and they were at that day.

Beautiful post, Sara. I keep telling myself through all the wedding planning that it's not about the color of the invites, or the bridesmaid dresses, or if all the groomsmen match, or the type of paper used for the programs. All those are details that are just momentary, brief, and get lost within the craziness of the day (and life!). It's about the people, really. Two people in particular, and the families and friends that made (and make) them who they are. Independence is good, but I think a hug is always better. Good luck with the rest of your planning -- everything will turn out perfectly, you'll see! And that zucchini toast looks FANTASTIC.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

I love this idea. We had a small dinner party on Sunday night and for the appetizer, I did a zucchini 3 ways. Zucchini pancakes, oven "fried" zucchini, and a zucchini ribbon salad with parmesan, lemon, basil, and fresh peas. This idea would have been the perfect addition!

I absolutely adore this idea. So now it's avocado toasts for breakfast and zucchini toasts for snacks! Does life get any better? ;)

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

This is so true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions. I can absolutely relate to what you describe, in fact I've been overwhelmed by similar feelings this summer and find myself really needing people around me more than I thought. I've always been proud of my independence, but it's true that sometimes we really do need to accept our dependence.
On another note, these toasts are so fresh looking! I can almost taste them through the pictures! The photography is stunning as well :)
Congratulations on your engagement!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

So nice to see a fresh recipe for zucchini! The variety I grew this year is kind of a bust...tough skin and firm flesh, absolutely needs roasting to be edible.
Just wanted to send a word of encouragement, I just got married in June and the planning process is still fresh in my mind. I had to give up some control and delegate, but I also learned to be assertive about details that were really important to me. In the end, I just had to accept something I had absolutely no control over- my entire family, including me and my fiance ended up with a stomach bug days before the wedding (we didn't even eat any of our carefully picked reception menu!)- BUT we still had an amazing, happy day, and lots of people pitched in to make it great. (Here's our little wedding video: http://vimeo.com/12903770)
Hope your planning is as enjoyable as possible and your marriage is blessed.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

I did the exact same thing with my wedding invitations...had a nervous breakdown and then turned the decisions over to my mom. I had been trying to do everything by myself up to that point and it just got to be too much. It's hard to decide to 'need' people but it feels so good to just let go!

And this bread looks delicious! I've been looking for recipes to use up all of the zucchini coming out of my garden right now, so I will definitely try this!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Yummy! So simple and yet so elegant. I love this use of overabundant zucchini, very nice! And as always, gorgeous photos!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Love the recipe and gorgeous photos. I keep track of my own recipes for my fam and friends, but I've never been able to come close to reproducing the beauty your future hubby has. Well-done! And I'm def going to give these zucchini toasts a try after my next farmers market trip.

Small side note, I've been eating avocado and tomato sandwiches all summer for breakfast and I had no idea it was trendy! I visited my sister in Australia and stole the idea from one of the many cafes we ordered avocado toast at. My version uses two slices of whole grain toast, adds a sliced heirloom tomato, plus sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Perfection on a plate, I promise.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

Oh and wedding planning - you will have those moments. I'm getting hitched on September 4th and no matter how hard I tried to be the quintessential laidback bride, there were just moments when, yeah, a breakdown was necessary. But take heart - you will make it through and afterward you're going to be bound to the one for you and that's amazing. Also, check out www.apracticalwedding.com if you haven't already - it's been a source of both inspiration and reality. Best of luck to you!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

I made something similar last week but ate it as a side dish. Love the idea of adding a little crunch with the toast!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

This looks really delicious. I have been searching for appetizer ideas for this party I am throwing on Monday. I might try using lemon zest vs the lemon pepper.

Thanks Sara!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon

oh, wedding planning. i remember being in your shoes only 5 years ago and it really was so much fun. my advice to anyone planning a wedding is remembering that it's all optional - if something is stressful or annoying, don't do it. that's how we ended up with random colored flowers - i didn't care to think too much about it and said, "whatever. just pretty flowers". ha!

the toast looks great. i haven't gotten behind the toast fad, other than some bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, but i'm sure i'll have extra zucchini lying around soon :).

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterheather @ chiknpastry

Thanks for sharing this exciting, and I'm sure very emotional time in your life. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system, so everything will be just fine. Especially with comfort food like that delicious look toast hanging around. Yum!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEbony

Oh sister I've been where you are! The breaking point in wedding planning is always over something seemingly innocuous - like the color of invitation paper. For me, it was red velvet wedding cake and the fact that my mom thought only harlots had red velvet wedding cakes. Who remembers the cake type, I ask you? Anyway, we're so lucky to have great moms, aren't we? And even luckier to have moments of clarity where we actually realize how lucky we are...PS - I have never heard of avocado toast or zucchini toast. Back woods. I can't wait to give both a try!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTaryn

My heart sings!!! Another way to ahem... enjoy zucchini! I am also swimming in mint and basil, so maybe a little adjustment is in order and then I can partake! This is a perfect late afternoon pick-me-up (especially for the cook before she starts dinner!) Thanx for the great post. I am enjoying your blog!

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUrMomCooks

I can totally feel your pain with the wedding stuff! I'm in the middle of planning my wedding, and even though I'm excited I really can't wait until it's over and we can relax again!

The bread looks awesome - nothing helps a bad day like fresh bread :)

Genius. Was just dreaming my way toward a zucchini crostini tonight (Ouch! Just noticed the rhyme). Will use this as a jumping off point when we bake more bread this week.

In the meantime, hang in there, even the simplest weddings have their moments. We decided, doing ours, it was so dastardly because of 'the twelve doors': every decision (and there were hundreds) would beget twelve more, none of which we were expecting. And behind those twelve, lurked several others, and so on, and so on, and so on! Good news is? Fifteen years later, we still use that metaphor. And fifteen years later, we're still laughing and smiling.

August 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Oh so yummy sounding. I just did small patty pan zucchinis on the bbq for dinner-yum- but this sounds really nice. I can easily alkalize this recipe too. I love the fresh herbs- Mmmmm I need to try this soon! Gorgeous shots too!

Oh wow, that looks delicious!

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

The simplicity is so lovely! If I called it a summer bruschetta I bet my zucchini-hating husband would even eat it.

After 8 years as a wedding vendor (and a bride myself) what I learned is to choose vendors you trust and then solicit their opinions. Choose which few things are important to you and delegate or let go of the rest. ("What do you suggest if my [important things] are [XYZ]?") And remember that a wedding is just a party to celebrate your marriage -- you'll be a beautiful, happy bride whether you're wearing a sundress at a cabin or a ballgown at a castle. Best of luck!

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacy (Little Blue Hen)

I love your photography!

geez louise that looks yummy!

xo.

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertiffany.

soooooooo beautiful it makes me want to cry!!! or burst from inspiration...
thank you!
j.

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer young

I just made these toast for lunch for me and my husband for a rainy Saturday in Vancouver. I served them with a thai yam soup. The toast were even more amazing than I expected!! I'm a new fan of your blog and so far the two recipes I've tried, fennel quinoa salad and this one, have been just delicious. Love the pictures, too!

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGab

This looks delicious! I have made a number of your recipes and they have all been pretty successful, I'll be adding this one to the list.

I love sauteed or baked veggies piled high on toast. You captured this recipe so beautifully on film.

August 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Beautiful shot of the bread...can't wait to try out these toasts.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTender B.

Oh now that does look good! Did your mum step in just when you needed her to? Try not to get too stressed. In the end it is just a day for you and your family and friends. The little things are just that, little things :)

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

zucchini toast?mmm it's like you're reading my mind. I've already made this for my lunch. love it. thanks for sharing! your site is so cool.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterblackbookkitchendiaries

Why am I reading this right before lunch? I am starving now! And I love hearing your life lessons, Sara. Wedding planning gets the best of everyone, I am not sure there is any way around it. But sounds like you have great people to help you out!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfresh365

Yum! I have SO much zucchini to use up - this is perfect!

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ CozyDelicious

We just enjoyed this for our dinner--amazingly delicious! It's a great way to use the abundance of zucchini from our garden, especially since the other flavors take over so much (for those who are a wee bit tired of the ubiquitous green squash!). Thank you for the recipe--we'll be using it again.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I have been looking for new zucchini recipes and ideas how to use all the freshly picked zucchini I have in my fridge. Love the simplicity of this. Goat cheese would be wonderful on the toast too. Once again, I'm smitten!

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertiina

Zucchini toasts with cheese, or just a long walk with my best friend: you're right, friend- they both fuel us for the next day. Thanks for always being a feeder of my belly and my soul.

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentershannon

Gorgeous! I adore zukes, but never have put them on toast before. Thanks for the idea for the abundance that is starting to tip toe out of my garden and into my disorganized kitchen! xooxo

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterredmenace

So simple, yet so delicious! Great post, quintessentially summer!

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbianca

What a lovely post. Glad your mom was there to give you a hug (and pick out the paper). The zucchini toast looks scrumptious!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWinnie

Gorgeous food, gorgeous images. I adore zucchini, thanks for this inventive way to prepare it!

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShyla Batliwalla

This is a great idea for the mountain of zucchini that's currently taking over my kitchen!

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeaghin

Sara,
I will add this to my crostini repertoire!
It looks fantastic!
Zucchini is so versatile, I use it from the farmer's market weekly and am always looking for new ideas!
Thanks,
Stacey

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Snacks

Yum. I made something similar last week, but I sauteed the zucchini instead of roasting and used goat cheese instead of ricotta. Such a nice simple satisfying dish.

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate @ Savour Fare

Sara!! I am a good friend (and soon to be cousin-in-law) of JoJo Moe...he mentioned your blog the other night and I had to ask him what it was called; it sounded so...delicious! I LOVE food, and consider myself a wannabe foodie, so as I cruise through your amazing posts---dear lord. IM HUNGRY. haha. Everything looks stunning!! I'll for sure be reading more... :)

September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathleen

Sara! I am a good friend (and soon cousin-in-law) of JoJo Moe. He mentioned your blog the other night and I had to ask him what it was called. Everything looks so beautiful and delicious! I LOVE food, and consider myself a wannabe foodie, so cruising through these beautiful photos and recipes makes me hungry!! I will definitely be reading up on Sprouted Kitchen... :)

September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathleen

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