15 April 2012

Fun + Feisty Zucchini Cups

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I've been dying to make my mediterranean bruschetta all fall and winter long.  No I'm not being dramatic, it was dangerously possible that I might die due to lack of delicious food.

Regardless of my near death experience, tomatoes tasted like water during those months and I couldn't bring myself to eat less than stellar, out of season tomatoes.

The goal was to wait until my tomato plants looked like this:
roma tomato garden plant 2011

But because it's only April, they look like this:

roma tomato plant seedling garden 2012
sad clam


Unable to wait a second longer, I broke down and flat out bought tomatoes.  Perfectly ripe, juicy, flavorful tomatoes.  First I lucked out with strawberries, and now these bad boys? Life is good! =)  Even when you space out at the grocery store and forget to buy bread for the bruschetta.  Oops?

Zucchini to the rescue!!!

stuffed zucchini cup appetizer tomato feta herbs
Fun + Feisty Zucchini Cups
[serves one and is easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled for a hungry crowd!]

What's in it?
1 medium zucchini
4 Tbsp crumbled feta
1/2 of a ripe roma tomato
lemon juice and zest
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp vinegar

season with: salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried minced onion or onion powder, parsley, dill

Cucumber cups are equally amazing --  But you have to promise me you'll try it both ways! -- baked zucchini is your friend.  Pah-romise!

T-Rex Chefs ummm... what do you want me to say?  Add bacon?  I won't say that =)
Vegansaurus Chefs nix the feta and add diced red onion, cucumber, and/or olives!


Get Cooking!
You'll barely spend any time in the kitchen with this one!  Whoo!  Slice zucchini into discs and scoop a little bowl into the center of each zucchini round using a melon baller or spoon.  In a bowl, mix feta, tomato, herbs, vinegar, lemon juice [and a little of the zest if you love lemon flavor!], and olive oil.  Toss or stir to incorporate, taste, and adjust ingredients as needed.  Feel free to add extra herbs, vinegar or olive oil to suit your tastes.  Anything goes! <3

Bake at 350F for 15 minutes and use any and all willpower to allow them to cool down just a teeny bit before digging in.  This is willpower I lack, of course, and the first bite has me running around the kitchen fanning my mouth every. single. time.  I wouldn't have it any other way =)

stuffed zucchini cup appetizer tomato feta herbs

So... How was it?
Only the best finger food of my life!  No big deal.

And by no big deal, I mean HUGE deal!  They're great raw and even better straight from the toaster oven.  Lightly baking this appetizer results in perfectly buttery and tender zucchini with fluffy feta that melted ever so slightly for a warm, zesty, and utterly delicious pairing.  They travel well and can be prepped a day or two ahead of time for a party or gathering.  They're even incredible reheated for a midnight snack.  [Um, best midnight snack EVER!]

Feel free to stuff the filling into cucumber cups and serve chilled on a hot day!  But promise me you'll make the baked zucchini version too -- It really is life-changing <3

stuffed zucchini cup appetizer tomato feta herbs

I told you veggies were delicious!

Since forgetting the bread totally worked in my favor -- what's your favorite thing to use instead of bread for sandwiches, appetizers, etc...?

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49 comments:

  1. nicoleandgwendolynSunday, April 15, 2012

    beautiful zucchini cups!  
    but frankly, tonight, i would much prefer alicia silverstone's vegan peanut butter chocolate version. ;)
    maybe i shall give the zucchini a go tomorrow! :D
    btw, have been LOVING the WIAW - has created so much wonderful discussion over at my blog.  thanks for your inspirational project.  very nicely done.  x x x 

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  2. Oh wow. I do love vegetables. And feta. I'm going to have to make this.  Instead of bread?  vegetables are always the answer:  put spreads on on celery, cucumber, bell peppers... how about into an omelet?  

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  3. 100% agree! Veggies are always and forever the answer! ;)

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  4. I think I shall add these to our Greek menu tonight with goat cheese! Yum!

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  5. I stuff orange or yellow peppers with sandwich fixin's for my husband since he can't have bread! He loves it!

    I am definitely pinning this recipe ~ YUM!

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  6. I love this appetizer idea! This will be perfect for summer BBQs!

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  7. Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded WifeSunday, April 15, 2012

    Love the zucchini as the bread, that's so creative! 

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  8. Emily A Perfect PantrySunday, April 15, 2012

    These look fantastic, very dainty!

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  9. I love zucchini, especially a zucchini/tomato combo, yum. Add feta cheese and I want to nom it right off of the screen. *Noms*

    Instead of bread? Italian baker girl does not compute.

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  10. I use lettuce sometimes and make a wrap if I do not have bread :)

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  11. Another awesome looking recipe!!  Using bell peppers is always a nice sub for bread!  :)

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  12. Your tomato plants are looking much better than mine - ours are still TEENY, tiny. :) 

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  13. Sprint2theTableMonday, April 16, 2012

    These lok so delicious!  I need to add this to the catering list for sure. :)

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  14. These look so perfect for a hot day ... elegant and almost calorie free bites perfect with a cold glass of wine!

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  15. don't hate me, but I am making this today, only not cooked and in cucumber boats, because I'm lazy.

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  16. Oh.my.YUM!!! These looked amazing at first glance, and then you baked them?!? Genius!

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  17. These would definitely HAVE to be baked for me...I am in LOVE with zucchini when it's baked or grilled.

    Tomatoes are awful out-of-season. I always think of the plastic tomato slices that came in my play food set when I was little--because that's just what they taste like to me!

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  18. These look so delicious, Jenn! Drooling already... You always have such great ideas! 

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  19. Brilliant! Love the cups and a perfect solution (aside from zucchini bread) for what is sure to be an abundance this summer. Bookmarked.

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  20. Oh my gosh, these look amazing! I love that you used a veggie instead of bread! I'm not a huge fan of zucchini, but I would totally make them with cucumber! Mmmm...

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  21. Why is everything you make so insanely cute? I am licking my screen right now. Swear. :)

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  22. Uh... YUM!  This looks even better than it did on Instagram!  Was it you that was so sad that Picnik was gone?  My cousin just told me about a new (well, new to me) site today that I LOVE!  www.picmonkey.com

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  23. Such a cool idea! I love using bell pepper or sweet mini peppers as 'cups', but the zucchini is an awesome idea!

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  24. Oooh, this looks fantastic. I am always in for feta - great way to use zucchini!

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  25. Almost like a Greek Salad in a cup I love it

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  26. 되게 간단하고 맛있겠어요 ^^ㅋㅋ

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  27. I love the zucchini cups idea; I have only tried cucumbers before. I love that the whole thing is edible.  You can just pop them in your mouth. :)  I have not had the best of luck with growing tomatoes either. Whenever they are gorgeous the deer come.

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  28. Hmm.  The filling looks perfect but...a substitute for bread?  I'm not familiar with that concept.  I'd go back to the store for bread and serve the zucchini and/or cucumber on the side! :)

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  29. This is a perfect appetizer for a Baby Shower I'm throwing in June, Looks so fresh and tasty! I'm bookmarking it now! Congrats on Top 9!

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  30. Yum! Thanks for the great, healthy recipe!

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  31. These would make such great canapes.   I love the sound of the baked zucchini version more than the cucumber one.

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  32. I prefer it baked too ;) The flavors really shine that way!

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  33. Thanks love!!!!!! Make a BUNCH b/c they go FAST! =) Happy Tuesday! <3

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  34. bahahaha I love bread too =) I do... It just loves me SO MUCH it never leaves my waist <3 Good thing the nearest bakery with GOOD crusty bread is like... over an hour away. I can't turn that stuff down when I'm in town!

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  35. I think you would have made a mistake if you bought the bread. This way your sticking to your "Veg Pledge Challenge"! =)

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  36. ThemessybakerblogTuesday, April 17, 2012

    Mmmm, these look so tasty. 

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  37. Oh, your little tomato plant is so cute. I think it's safe for us to plant some finally. The hard freeze we had last week would have killed them for sure.  I love the cups, though I'd have to use cucumber because I'm not a raw zucchini fan....cooked I can handle it. Raw zucchini and I don't get along.

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  38. This would be a great appetizer in summer!! 

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  39. Yum!  Could use cottage cheese or queso fresco in place of feta.  Definitely light appetizer.

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  40. Hey, your tomato plant looks better than mine (which did resemble the crypt keeper until I finally hosted a burial service in the very back of the yard). Can I just virtually hug you for a minute? Because zucchini is one of my favorite veggies...and this looks amazing! Of course I'm a total weirdo and am thinking I will try this without cooking it...raw zucchini is one of my faves! :)

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  41. Simple yet brilliant!  I'm buzzing and tweeting this one!

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  42. I would love to have my veggies this way...it looks so good , not only taste wise, but good for you, too- would work for my salad of the day :)

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  43. These are adorable!  What a fun appetizer and snack!
    ~Rebecca @ All-American Vegetarian

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  44. Rachelle HughesFriday, April 20, 2012

    Um yum. And I am so with you on the tomatoes. My tomatoes are not ripe until July or August. It is a long wait.

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  45. right? mine are still twigs with barely any leaves! bah! Such torture!

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  46. I def love it best cooked =) It gets so buttery and creamy.... ahhhh its one of my fav veggies ever! <3 Happy saturday love!

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  47. bahahaha yes! that's totally what they taste like! I dream of a jumbo greenhouse in my backyard so I can have delish ones year round. *sigh* someday!!!! Hope you're having a fab weekend Justine! xoxo

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