Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pesto Zucchini Melt

The zucchini just keeps a'coming, and so do the recipes I have to share. While most of what I've shared so far this season has been my take on someone else's recipe, this was the first recipe the came to me without any external inspiration. As a born-and-bred Wisconsin girl I've made my fair share of fancy grilled cheeses, so it only seems natural that use that template to use up the bountiful crop my Wisconsin garden has bestowed upon me. Zucchini is admittedly mostly a good canvas, so the gooey cheese and herby pesto are the real stars here, providing a fresh and crunchy base nicely contrasted by a hint of sharp red onion. With a plentiful herb garden I also have a plethora of homemade pestos at my disposal, but this is scrumptious with even the store bought variety. Pesto, whether store-bought or homemade, is one of the best shortcut ingredients to keep around, punching up pastas, proteins, eggs, sandwiches, and salads with minimal effort. All the satisfying richness of grilled cheese, with an element of sneaky vegetable nutrition, this twist on a comforting classic is a winter staple with a bit of summer soul.

Pesto Zucchini Melt
serves 1

1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon mayo
1 tablespoon pesto
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
Whole grain tortilla, bread, or pita
1 ounce thinly sliced or shredded mozzarella and/or provolone
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 zucchini, mayo, and pesto together in small bowl. Spread mixture evenly one one slice of bread, top with red onion and 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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