Zucchini Pesto Crostini
Easy to make vegetarian appetizer or game day snack that does not require cooking.
Zucchini pesto crostini is an appetizer, a healthy snack or take it to a potluck. This is that recipe you should add to your “must make” list.
When I’m looking for new recipes it’s important the recipe is easy and can be served any time of the year. Here you have ‘that’ recipe when you can find zucchini in the produce section of any market all year long and can be served for many different occasions. All that versatility makes this recipe a keeper.
I’ll cut right to the details for this recipe. A food processor or blender is the only equipment you will need and the ingredients are zucchini, basil and/or parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon, Romano cheese and bread or crackers for the crostini. This recipe will take on you and your family’s favorite flavors, so feel free to change any ingredients based on your preferences.
Because zucchini does not have much flavor it’s the perfect ‘player’ in this recipe. Traditional pesto ingredients are bold and play very well with the zucchini. For me (I’m a cheese lover) I liked adding additional cheese but you can add more of any or less of the ingredients based on what you like best.
Basil is a little strong for my family so I cut back on the basil and added some parsley. I do have to say that the basil is the most powerful player in this recipe and the zucchini does need the extra flavor. Use as much as you like or cut back, it’s really about what your preferences are.
- 1-2 large zucchini cut in cubes (before you cut the zucchini shredded ½ cup and set aside for garnish)
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup basil leaves (optional - use ⅛ cup basil & ⅛ cup parsley)
- ½ cup walnuts (or almonds)
- ¼-1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (Use a vegetable peeler to shave 6-8 slices of cheese for garnish)
- juice from ½ lemon
- 4-5 TBLS. Olive Oil
- 6-8 slices of Italian bread (you can also use whole grain crackers)
- salt and pepper
- Cut up the zucchini into cubes. Lay out the cubes on a cloth towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes and then roll up in the towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- When the zucchini are fairly dry, add them to the food processor or blender and pulse until they are broken down into small bits but not a paste. Remove from the bowl.
- Into the bowl prepare the 'pesto' by adding the basil/parsley, garlic and walnuts to the food processor or blender and give it a few pulses to break them down a bit.
- Slowly add in the zucchini and continue to pulse, adding in the olive oil and lemon juice and continue to pulse until well blended.
- Add in most of the grated cheese (saving a spoonful to add as topping to the crostini)
- Taste for seasoning. Add in salt and pepper as needed. You can also add in more of any other ingredient you choose based on your flavor preferences.
- Coat each slice of bread with olive oil, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of cheese. Place under broiler for a minute just until lightly toasted.
- Remove bread and spread with the zucchini pesto. Top with a slice of the shaved Romano cheese, sprinkle with a little shredded zucchini and then sprinkle with more grated cheese.
- Chop up 2 basil leaves, sprinkle on top, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.
This Zucchini Pesto Crostini is one of those recipes to make anytime of the year.
Serve it in the summer on the deck; for special occasion gatherings add it to the buffet table; or make them on the weekends for a snack while cheering on your favorite team.