Do you ever have one of those fun and busy weeks that by Sunday afternoon you feel like you need another weekend? That’s how last week was for me. There were dinners out during the week, farmers’ market and a cookout with friends on Saturday, and then I spent Sunday helping out around my mom’s house.
By Sunday evening, I had no energy to cook and no desire to eat out. That’s when a stocked refrigerator is my best friend. Ummm … what do I have that isn’t a lot of work, that’s tasty, and that isn’t too far off from Paleo?
I found some sopressata (Italian dry cured pork similar to hard salami), a block of Irish cheddar cheese (I know it’s not Paleo but my house would revolt without a little cheese), and three fresh zucchinis from the farmer’s market. In my pantry, I located a can of olives and a bag of pistachios.
A cheese and meat board is simple and delicious, but I used this opportunity to do something new with the zucchini. Since I wasn’t making a full dinner, I decided to try my hand at Zucchini Parmesan Crisps.
This simple recipe had been floating around the web for a while, and now was a perfect chance to try something new while sneaking veggies into my charcuterie and cheese plate.
On my first attempt, I was able to create a delicious and surprisingly healthy finger food. However, the zucchini rounds didn’t quite get crispy enough for my liking, probably because zucchinis naturally contain a lot of water. Don’t get me wrong – we ate all three zucchinis’ worth. However, I couldn’t help but think a slightly alternative prep work could have yielded a more delicate and crunchy texture.
Round two was more successful and that recipe is below. Make it tonight for a low-carb appetizer or keep it in mind the next time you need a vegetable to round out a meal or a table of finger foods.
Tools You’ll Need
Paper towel or hand towel
Parchment paper or baking mat
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons your choice of herb (I use chives, parsley or basil)
1 scallion, green and white parts, chopped
1 teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked
1/4 cup Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix cheese with pepper and herbs, set aside.
In a single layer, spread the zucchini rounds on a large paper towel or clean hand towel. Generously sprinkle the kosher salt over the zucchini. The salt helps draw out the moisture in the zucchini, which will help make it crisper.
After 10-15 minutes, pat the zucchini dry, removing the majority of the salt. Then line a baking sheet with either the parchment paper or the baking mat, and place the zucchini rounds in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Using a basting brush, lightly spread the oil on top of the rounds. Then sprinkle with the cheese mixture. Bake on the center or upper third rack for about 30 minutes until they are crisp but not burned. Serve immediately and enjoy.