In preparation for the upcoming holidays I have begun my recipe development of new gluten free appetizers. During the holidays I tend to make rich, fattier appetizers, but I thought I’d go a bit healthier for a change. One can only tolerate plain vegetable platters for so long. This my fancier version of a vegetable platter, with a bit of an Italian flair. It calls for zucchini slices, ricotta cheese, and basil. It makes a wonderful compliment when you’re serving other Italian dishes. Though it makes a beautiful presentation either way. In addition to this recipe, my most popular appetizers are Easy Gluten Free Pepperoni Appetizers where you can substitute the pepperoni for any gluten free luncheon meat; and Baked Honey Chicken Wrapped in Bacon appetizers. I have 34 recipes in my Gluten Free Appetizers category which you may also find useful.
A fairly easy, yet elegant zucchini appetizer stuffed ricotta, pine nuts and basil. - almost pesto in itself!
- 5 zucchini
- 1 cup Homemade Gluten Free Ricotta Cheese recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped finely + whole leaves for garnish
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts, chopped + more whole ones for garnish
- Either make fresh ricotta cheese ahead of time, or for 3 days prior to making the appetizers, drain the liquid from your store-bought ricotta in a colander lined with 2 layers of moistened cheesecloth. It literally takes that long to drain.
- Slice 4 of the zucchini diagonally with a mandoline slicer, very thin; reserve the other one for making ties, if desired.
- In a bowl, add all ingredients and stir together. (If desired, reserve some plain ricotta for piping on top.)
- To make the zucchini strings, slice off small, long pieces of the zucchini skin, and slice into very narrow strips.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture on one end of a zucchini slice; roll to close; and tie into a knot with zucchini string. Repeat until all of either the zucchini or ricotta is used. If desired, using a star tip, pipe the tops with additional ricotta mixed with a little lemon juice, or top with pine nuts. Top each roll with fresh basil prior to serving.
You may use the peeled zucchini for backups if you run out. Slice them and set them aside.