These vegetarian, low carb Zucchini Bruschetta with Pepper Relish are the perfect make ahead party appetizer! Sweet, smoky and bursting with flavor, you’ll want to slather this relish on everything!
A couple of week’s ago, I posted this Lemongrass and Pepper Cooler from Melissa’s Produce new book, The Pepper Cookbook! Leafing through the pages of The Pepper Cookbook started the creative juices flowing.. and the result???? Zucchini Bruschetta with Pepper Relish.
Notice anything a little different? Yup… no bread. Why I’ve never thought of using zucchini before…. sigh….. it was definitely one of those “duh!!!” moments.
I’ve been making bruschetta for … well, forever and up until now this had never occurred to me (que smacking forehead with hand)…
But once the idea entered my rather thick skull…. I got to work – with the ideas coming almost faster than I could write them down…. and a couple of hours later? I had these Zucchini Bruschetta with Pepper Relish in my hand (and shortly in my mouth!). So, a couple of notes about this recipe –
- It works best when the zucchini have cooled a bit – that way the cheese is easier to spread – so you can prep all the ingredients ahead!
- You can marinate the zucchini with whatever marinade complements your topping of choice – if using an acidic ingredient in your marinade don’t let the zucchini marinate for more than 20 minutes – you need them firm to hold the toppings!
- The pepper relish is really, really good with grilled chicken, flank steak, tri tip – so make extra!
- This is a great solution to the problem of a very prolific zucchini patch!!!
- You can grill the zucchini on an outdoor grill or inside on a grill pan.
- The variations are almost endless – think regular salsa, corn salsa, olive tapenade, hummus – the mind truly boggles.
Oh, and a couple of other things – it’s gluten free, vegetarian and, if you just top it with the relish, it’s also a vegan!! Score!!!
I’d love to hear what you come up so feel free to share your creations in the comments!!!
Zucchini Bruschetta with Pepper Relish
- For Zucchini
- 2 medium to large zucchini sliced ½ inch thick on a diagonal
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil plus 2 Tbsp. for oiling the grill/grill pan
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- For Relish:
- 1 bag Melissa's Organic Vine Sweet Mini Peppers cut into ¼ inch dice
- ¾ cup red onion cut into ¼ inch dice
- ¼ cup minced italian parsley
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. sherry wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ½ cup ricotta or goat cheese softened
- For the zucchini - in a medium sized bowl, combine the zucchini, olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- For the relish: In a medium sized bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
- Pre heat grill or grill pan to medium high. Brush grill or grill pan with 2 Tbsp. canola oil. When grill/grill pan is hot, add zucchini. Cook for 2 minutes and then flip, grilling for another 2 minutes until zucchini is tender but not limp. Remove zucchini to a cutting board (if making ahead, place zucchini on a cooling rack so that moisture can escape).
- Top with a teaspoon or so of softened ricotta or goat cheese. Top with 2 tsp. of the relish and serve!