Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Zucchini Melt

If you've followed this blog regularly, you're well aware that once I create a new recipe, I often can't stop riffing on it. Once I'd emptied the bottle of pesto chowing down on Pesto Zucchini Melts and Pesto Chickpea Melts, I tried to think of how else I could pile zucchini high on my sandwich. I figured if my pesto-based formula had adapted so well from chickpeas to zucchini, why not my Mashed Chickpea Salad recipe? I amped up the fresh herbs and added cheese to make it reminiscent of a tuna melt, this recipe translating easily from beans to veggies. Zucchini provides a tender-crisp, if mostly flavorless base, a great showcase for the combination of sharp red onion and Dijon, creamy mayo, sweet-sour relish, and vibrant fresh herbs. I like the contrast of the nutty Swiss cheese against this palate, but it could also be fantastic with any number of other cheeses like cheddar or provolone. It's a great vegetarian substitute for a tuna melt, but a fantastic sandwich in its own right and the perfect use to a glut of late summer zucchini.

Zucchini Melt
serves 1

1/2 cup shredded zucchini
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1.5 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon relish
1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, chives, parsley, or other herb (optional)
Whole grain tortilla, bread, or pita
1 ounce thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Canola or olive oil cooking spray

1. Place shredded zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and toss to combine. Allow to drain for at least 15 minutes, then squeeze in a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and stir well to combine. Spread mixture evenly one one slice of bread, top with cheese, and place second slice of bread on top.

3. Preheat a pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add sandwich and cook, flipping once, until filling is warm and cheese is melted, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan, slice in half, and serve promptly.

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