Working full-time, starting a business and trying to keep my house clear of complete chaos is exhausting. Between writing books, making a wish list of authors and dealing with the first cold of the year in addition to all the back-to-school stuff we have going on, I’m running on empty.
The three-day weekend coming up is my salvation. I’ve promised myself I’ll put aside time to relax—read a little in the hammock and enjoy happy hour on the patio.
For the latter, I plan to make zucchini bruschetta.
I love zucchini and never get tired of it; we eat it year-round. So, imagine how happy I am at this time of year when everyone who has a plant or two has grown weary of it and begins to give us copious amounts.
Gifted or purchased, zucchini finds its way into salads, pastas and breads around here—or just on its own after its been sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil. And I’m always thrilled to find a new use for it. Two zucchini recipes from other cooks I love are Zucchini Pasta from Martha Rose Shulman and Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde and Gruyere from Amanda Hesser at food52.
This bruschetta recipe was inspired by a lunch I had at Solage in Calistoga with my friend Ruth. It was a cloudy day, but we sat outside surrounded by guests clad in robes and dark sunglasses. I really liked this concept, but by the time I got around to remaking it, I couldn’t remember what was in the original dish. Luckily, this version is more delicious than its inspiration.
Serves 6 to 8
24 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French or sourdough baguette
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2 ounces Pecorino, grated using a large hole grater
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Brush with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake until crisp, about 8 minutes.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently just to soften. Season with the salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the red onion, Pecorino, capers and thyme. Add the zucchini and any olive oil in the skillet. Stir well and season with salt if needed.
Top each bread slice with a spoonful of the zucchini mixture and serve.
What to drink: Sauvignon Blanc. The Pecorino—made traditionally from sheep’s milk cheese—is the focal point for pairing this recipe with wine. Its natural tanginess is brilliant with Sequoia Grove Sauvignon Blanc, a light and yet creamy wine with bright aromas and flavors.