Sometimes simple is the best preparation.
One of the beautiful things about being a fan of cooking is that most of the time I enjoy menu planning. Sure, I have the occasional day where I really don’t want to think about what dinner will be, but usually I’m pretty happy to contemplate food. So, on a recent Monday, I knew that I wanted to plan a Greek-themed Tapas Monday. There would be lamb meatballs, pita bread, and tzatziki, but I still needed a veggie. I could have taken the easy way out and made a Greek salad, but a warm dish seemed better in the deep of winter. What veggie could I make that would have a Greek feel to it?
As I ticked through the aisles of my grocery store’s produce department, zucchini came to mind. I would be spending a decent amount of my prep time right before the meal focused on the pita bread, so I wanted a veggie that would require little attention. Roasting was the obvious choice, as it’s simple (just put it in the oven) and keeps the produce nice and flavorful.
While I wanted simple, just roasting the zucchini seemed a little on the boring side. Not that I planned on this becoming a Think Tasty recipe, but the addition of feta made it interesting enough to earn a second round of recipe testing. The second round went as well as the first (and provided me with a nice weekday lunch).
If you’re trying to be really healthy, you could omit the feta. The olive oil and seasoning do add enough flavor that it could be served ultra-simplistically. Don’t omit the olive oil; the tiniest bit of it produces a nice, unctuous hint to this veggie, especially if you’re buying a decent brand of olive oil.
This recipe is so simple and yummy, I’m sure it will be often repeated this summer when local zucchini is available. It will make a fine addition to another Tapas Monday and also will be a great lunch option. I think with warmer weather I may even try chilling it before serving. my guess is that it will work just as well.
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup feta
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Remove ends from zucchini; slice lengthwise into ¼-inch strips.
- Brush both sides of each strip with olive oil, and place on baking sheet.
- Season each strip with salt and pepper.
- Top each strip with crumbled feta.
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- These zucchini strips were tender with a bit of a bite. For more al dente zucchini, roast for 5 minutes.