Zucchini Tomato Mozzarella Sliders

July 27, 2012 § 4 Comments

Zucchini. It doesn’t stop.

Turn around for a minute and the long green veggie is 3 inches longer on the vine. Not kidding. Hold off on picking it for a day and … well … it becomes a billy club. Growing up, we’d throw the very large zukes into the pig pen. Healthy, zucchini-loving pigs, that’s what we had.

Lately, thoughts during my 25-minute walk back home from yoga have turned to how to use that day’s zucchini. Pizza. Pasta. Salad. I’ve done them all and wanted something different. Last night, my craving for a burger—really, the craving for something meaty between two bready buns—decided dinner for me. Why should sliders be reserved for meat eaters? Zucchini can play that game, too.

Ingredientszucchini tomato mozzarella sliders
1 5-6 in. zucchini
2 tbs olive oil
1+tbs balsamic vinegar
1 spring oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 small French rolls, cut into top and bottom halves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 deliciously red heirloom tomato
mozzarella

1. Slice zucchini into rounds slightly thicker than 1/2 in. Discard (or eat!) the smaller rounds. Shoot for using 12 rounds.

2. Combine oil, vinegar, oregano, a big pinch of kosher salt and several turns of the pepper grinder in a medium bowl. Dip your finger in there and adjust seasoning if you’d like (more vinegar? more oil? It’s your food—make it taste the way you like!). Add zucchini slices and toss. Put aside.

3. Smash those garlic cloves with the back of your chef’s knife (on a cutting board, of course) and schmear it together until the garlic becomes kinda pasty. You can add a sprinkle of salt or not. Add this to a small bowl of 1-2 tbs olive oil. Brush this oil onto the bun halves.

4. Set a grill pan onto medium-high heat. When it’s hot, place buns, cut side down, onto the pan and flatten slightly. 10-15 seconds will do. Put grilled buns into a bowl and cover with a tea towel for now. Turn off grill pan.

5. Meanwhile … we’re still waiting for the zucchini to marinate a bit. Take this time to make a small side salad and whip up a quick vinaigrette.

6. Okay, done with the salad? Time to move on. Get that grill pan back up to medium high. Place your zucchini rounds onto the grill pan. Using a brush, dab some of the liquid remaining in the bowl onto each slice. Let them sit for 4-5 min, or until they get some nice-looking grill marks on the bottom.

7. While those are grilling, slice the tomato into 6 slices and add to whatever liquid remains in the bottom of that bowl.

8. Mozzarella. Time to slice it. Slice it about 1/4 in. thick or less, and into whatever size will sit nicely on top of a zucchini round.

9. Back to those zucchinis. They should be ready to flip onto the other side. Do that. Then place a bit of mozzarella on top of each. Let them grill for a minute.

10. Get your buns ready, working with one top and bottom at a time. This part is optional: Make some room in that grill pan and place the buns cut side down into the goodness the zucchini has been cooking in. Only takes a second, and remove quickly. If not doing that: Place one zucchini slice onto the bun bottom, and overlap a second on top of that. Add a slice of tomato. Top it off with other half of the bun. Repeat with the remaining zukes and buns.

Super. Good. I ate one and a half. Coulda had two. Or three.

Enjoy. I’m off to make zucchini bread now.

Do you have a favorite zucchini recipe? Share it in the comments section.

 

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§ 4 Responses to Zucchini Tomato Mozzarella Sliders

  • Karen Altree Piemme says:

    I love me some:
    Zucchini Carpaccio with Avocado

    Time: 10 minutes, plus 30 to 60 minutes’ marinating

    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus additional as needed 1/4 cup best-quality pistachio oil, almond oil or extra virgin olive oil 4 small zucchini (about 4 ounces each), trimmed 1 ripe avocado, peeled and very thinly sliced 1/4 cup salted pistachio nuts 4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, preferably with flowers.

    1. Stir together lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small jar. Add oil, cover and shake to blend.

    2. Slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible, using mandoline or very sharp knife. Spread slices on platter and drizzle with lemon mixture. Tilt platter to evenly coat slices. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

    3. Alternate zucchini and avocado slices on individual salad plates, slightly overlapping each slice. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts. Season with salt to taste, garnish with lemon thyme, and serve.

    Yield: 4 servings.

    Ellen – do you have a super-good zucchini bread recipe? I used to absolutely love the one my mom used to make, but a few years ago she switched to one that had a little less oil, and discarded the previous one. I’ve been looking for a really good one ever since…
    Karen

  • msmsh42 says:

    Thanks for this suggestion….my zucchini isn’t stopping either. 🙂

    • Thanks! We’ve also been making a ton of lasagna with long slices of zucchini and a ricotta filling that has chopped sautéed chard or beet greens in it. Good thing there are a lot of recipes!

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