Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables. You can make it into pasta, grill it on a skewer, stir-fry it, or simply eat it raw [a squeeze of fresh lemon over top is a treat]. As it turns out, zucchini can also make quite a sophisticated appetizer with minimal effort.
And pesto… oh, pesto. A delicious mingling of what are arguably some of food’s best flavors. All it takes is basil, a handful of cashews, lemon, and garlic to create a mouthwatering pesto. Pine nuts seem to be the go-to for most pesto recipes, but cashews work just as well and cost much less [stick around here long enough and you just might learn something]. This appetizer requires little prep and process which means you can make lots of these very quickly. And then watch them disappear off the table just as fast. These suckers are like Pringles – in the sense that once you pop one you can’t stop.
INGREDIENTS [Makes 15-18 rolls depending on zucchini size]
1 container of cherry tomatoes [just enough for one per roll]
1/2 c. pesto
INGREDIENTS for the Pesto
1 c. fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 c. raw cashews
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast [optional, but recommended!]
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
Start off by making the pesto – mainly because it becomes more flavorful the longer it sits. Combine cashews, olive oil, basil, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until the consistency is mostly smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
Chop the ends off each zucchini. Then, using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, start peeling long strips from the zucchini. Repeat until you’ve peeled enough strips for the amount of rolls you want to make.
Have the cherry tomatoes ready in a bowl and a stockpile of toothpicks. On a flat surface, lay out a slice of zucchini, portion a spoonful on the strip and smooth it out evenly. Cover 1/2-3/4 of the strip, otherwise it will be hard to roll and the pesto will ooze out everywhere. Place a cherry tomato near one end of the zucchini and start to roll the strip around the tomato. When you get to the end, spear the roll with a toothpick and set it aside.
Repeat the process until you run out of ingredients. If you have some pesto left over [exciting!], it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To be honest, ours didn’t last that long because we dipped whatever we could find in it until it was gone. The stuff is so good it’s bad.
Simple, cute, and irresistible. What more can you ask for in a snackatizer?