During one of our recon missions around Mount Sinai, we encountered heaven. Oh you didn’t know it was on earth? It is — at the corner of 93rd and Lexington. It obviously can’t go by the name Heaven, because it would suffer severe overcrowding, so instead it goes by Kitchen Arts and Letters. It’s a bookstore devoted entirely to cookbooks.
Have any of you been? The selection was remarkable, and the owner was so kind and knowledgeable! Little does he know, we’re plotting to become the corner kids who he has to kick out for loitering around the place. We ended up purchasing a cookbook, entitled Small Bites, which has great ideas for party snacks, cocktail nibbles, and the like.
Last night, we used a recipe from the book to make rolled zucchini ribbons, filled with goat cheese, mint, arugula, and tied with a chive. My friends from camp are visiting, and we all prepared them for pre-dinner snack.
This is certainly not the most simple appetizer to throw together — broiling zucchini can be annoying in the heat, and rolling and tying the zucchinis is somewhat time-consuming. It’s definitely worth it though, the flavors were so unique and yummy, and they looked stunning. We recommend broiling the zucchini in advance and letting it cool in the refrigerator.
Ingredients (makes about 20 rolls):
4-5 small zucchini
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 thumb-sized red chili peppers, seeds removed and thinly sliced
small bunch fresh chives
4 oz. fresh goat cheese
handful fresh mint leaves
2 small handfuls baby arugula
Heat the broiler to high. Cut the zucchini into lengthwise slices, about 1/4-inch thick. Brush with 2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil on both sides until zucchini have grill stripes. Heat remaining oil in a frying pan, and crisp chili peppers for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Drain on paper towels. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Drop chives in water, and immediately remove with a slotted spoon then dry on paper towels. Spread each zucchini slice with about 1 tsp goat cheese, then sprinkle mint leaves over, and place arugula and chili slivers so that they will stick up. Gently roll the slice, and tie a chive around the roll. Trim chive ends if necessary, and refrigerate or serve immediately.