Grilled Zucchini + Chevre Stacks with Garlic Bread Crumbs and Romesco Sauce
Why we love it:
- 2 Bell Pepper (Orange, Yellow or Red)s (use red for traditional romesco)
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 4 Roma Tomatos (early girl, slicer, plum - any small red tomato works ok)
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 1⁄2 cup Almonds (sliced are easier to blend)
- 2 cups Breadcrumbs (divided)
- 2 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
- 1⁄4 bunch Fresh Parsley (chopped, divided)
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided)
- 11⁄2 pounds Zucchini
- 4 ounces Fresh Chevre (aka goat cheese, 1 small package)
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 400 DEGREES
A BBQ grill would be fun too. You’ll impart a nice smokey taste and impressive grill marks on the squash.
Cut the peppers in half through the stem. Use your fingers to pluck out the seeds and membrane. Roast them (this could be on the outdoor grill, on a pan in the oven, or directly on the grate of an indoor gas grill). Roast for about 6 - 10 minutes on high, or medium-high heat until the peppers are softening and charred in spots.
While the peppers are roasting prep the rest of the sauce. Directly into a blender add the garlic cloves, tomatoes (chunked up in half or quarters), 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, sliced almonds, 1 cup of bread crumbs, sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon of salt.
When the peppers are ready, remove from the heat. If you can handle it, scrape off any charred areas, or just toss them in as is to the blender. The char actually adds a delicious summer flavor.
Blend until the sauce is mostly smooth and emulsified but retains just a little coarse texture. If you had trouble getting it smooth, you can drizzle in up to a Tablespoon of water and/or more olive oil.
Slice the very end of the stem off of the zucchini. Slice each piece into thick planks - about ¼” thick, you’ll end up with about 4 slices per zucchini. Then slice them in half so you have planks that are about 2 - 3” long. Toss the zucchini with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Roast the zucchini on a baking sheet, on a hot grill pan indoors, or on a BBQ grill outdoors until they are mostly tender, but firm enough to hold their shape.
When done, remove and let them cool just a bit.
Remove the cheese from the fridge and mash it up with a fork in a bowl, just to soften it up a bit.
Set a baking sheet or 9 x 13 dish out as a work surface and to heat the final dish. Place a zucchini down, top with a teaspoon or so of the cheese then press another zucchini onto it. Repeat with cheese and a 3rd slice of zucchini. Repeat the stacking until you have about 8 stacks. If you extra zucchini and cheese, make more (at this stage you can freeze them!). Or if you only have leftover zucchini, you can save it for another dish.
When you have all of the stacks, pop them in the oven for about 3-4 minutes to just warm and soften everything but not melt the cheese. If you were BBQing the zucchini, you can place the baking sheet or dish right on the grill, turn it off and close the lid. The residual heat is plenty to warm them at bit.
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the remaining cup of breadcrumbs and the garlic powder. You can also add a pinch of salt. Stir to coat the crumbs and cook for 3 - 4 minutes until they’re turning golden brown and fragrant. When done, turn off the heat and set aside for plating.
Plate a big spoonful of romesco on plates. Top with 2 stacks. Drizzle more sauce over top and generously sprinkle the buttery crumbs on. Finish with a few tablespoons of chopped parsley.