June 27, 2012 | Appetizers, Vegetables
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of taking a family on an Italian cooking tour, with several days in Rome as well as a few days in the lovely little hill town of Casperia, just north of Rome. On our very first night at La Torretta in Casperia, we were served this simple little antipasto, and I think it remained the favorite dish of the entire trip for most of our group. Since the women went on to visit France after their time in Italy, I guess it’s fitting that the recipe uses some distinctly Italian ingredients (small fresh zucchini in the early summer, extra virgin olive oil from the Sabina Hills) along with a quintessential French ingredient, brie cheese.
You can have this dish all set to go, then just pop it into the oven to heat up and melt the brie right before serving it. We enjoyed it as a first course, but it could also be in lieu of a salad or as a vegetable alongside something else. Take note of how small the zucchini are – this recipe is perfect to use those first tiny zucchini that are ripening at this time of year before they go crazy and turn baseball bat size overnight. The recipe is simple and surprisingly delicious – the way I think most Italian cooking is. Hope you like it – and thanks to the lovely Jenny from La Torretta both for making it for us as well as sharing the recipe .
- 4 very small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into thin slices
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces brie, sliced very thinly
- chopped fresh mint
- Cut the zucchini slices in half crosswise and lay on a baking sheet; drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with just a little salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, just until zucchini starts to soften. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle.
- Lay zucchini slices two side by side and layer with a thin slice of brie; repeat layers, alternating directions that the slices are positioned. Repeat with remaining 3 zucchini; drizzle with a bit of oil and sprinkle with fresh mint. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to melt brie and crisp the mint.