January 8, 2012 § 1 Comment
I have been thinking of re-creating this dish ever since visiting Candle 79 last October. The dish was a live zucchini manicotti stuffed with a mushroom olive mixture and topped with a raw tomato sauce and parsley pine nut salad. At the time, I still was not liking mushrooms very much. Boy has that changed. Mushrooms have been the star of many meals since including my Christmas Eve dinner with vegan mushroom bourguignon.
At Candle79, I thought the mushroom olive combination was delicious. I’m a big olive fan and love their briny, salty bite which masked the mushroom flavor I didn’t like at the time. Instead, what remained was just a chewy almost meaty texture which I welcomed. I thought the dish would be great to make at home with store-bought olive tapenade. So that’s what I did.
Since Luis wasn’t a fan of the “live” part of this dish, I decided to roast the zucchini. What I didn’t realize though is that then you can’t roll them into a manicotti. They become way too flimsy cooked. So I just laid them flat but it still worked. I wanted to make this elegant dish as easy as possible to make so I made a point of making it with one baking sheet. I was looking for easy cleanup here and it worked.
The resulting dish was elegant and tasty – but it was on the small side. It did feel like a little gourmet meal though I’d suggest doubling this recipe or serving with a side or salad. I also want to try it one day with pasta. I think it would be great.
Zucchini with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Olive-Portobello Relish
Makes 4 small servings
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced (about 6 slices per zucchini)
- 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 4 tomatoes, sliced
- 4-6 garlic cloves, roasted or raw
- 3 tbsp. pre-made olive tapenade
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- dried rosemary (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If roasting the garlic, you can put it in now. Just slice the end of it off so you have a flat top, place in a small oven safe dish, cover with olive oil and foil.
- Slice zucchini using a knife or mandolin. Slice tomatoes. Chop portobellos. Arrange all vegetables on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat all veggies. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary (optional).
- Place veggies in oven to roast about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the mushrooms and zucchini as the cook quickly. You may need to pull them out early. The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid so don’t be alarmed. You can finish the tomatoes and give them a little char by turning the oven up to broil – just watch very closely.
- Once you’ve pulled out the mushrooms, mix with the olive tapenade. Use as much as you like. Add in a few chopped garlic cloves to the mix if you like and set aside.
- Remove tomatoes and place into a food processor with a few garlic cloves. Do not add in liquid from the pan unless you need to thin out the sauce. If you have fresh herbs on hand you can add basil or parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble place some sauce on the plate. Top with a few zucchini slices and the olive-portobello relish.