Zucchini and Goat Cheese Stacks with Fresh Mint, Pine Nuts, and Crispy Prosciutto are as easy to make as they are delicious and impressive; they’re perfect for a spring supper or party!
I’m not one to shy away from green veggies. In fact, I’ve been known to serve fried eggs on sautéed greens as a breakfast salad, turn a bed of greens into pizza, and replace bread with leaves. But when spring rolls around, my need for the color green in my diet seems to intensify even more. From peas, to asparagus, leafy greens like spinach and watercress, leeks, and fava beans, spring brings with it a plethora of gorgeous green vegetables and fresh flavors to cleanse our winter palates.
This dish features not only the color green, making it perfect for spring, but also a very balanced flavor profile. The natural sweetness of zucchini is brought out by a short cooking stint. Creamy with a lovely subtle tartness, the density of goat cheese is a wonderful addition. I used Laura Chenel’s Marinated Cabecou Goat Cheese in Herbs because the infused flavor of herbs in the cheese adds so much to this dish. Laura Chenel’s is based out of Sonoma, California; not only are they committed to handcrafting the best quality chèvre, but they are also committed to local farming and ethical and sustainable practices. They promote the simple, natural elegance of life and this shines through in their products. Not to mention all the health benefits associated with their goat cheese!
For this recipe, in addition to the subtle sweetness of zucchini and tanginess of goat cheese, sweet earthy green peas, salty prosciutto, toasted pine nuts, and fresh mint round out the dish so it’s both an explosion of flavor, yet very balanced at the same time. This dish would make a beautiful first course for any spring meal, or appetizer for a spring party. With Easter on Sunday, this would be a wonderful addition to your spread, and this recipe is easy to double if you’re feeding a crowd.
As a fun twist on this recipe, you could try eggplant instead of zucchini and use Laura Chenel’s Spicy Cabecou Goat Cheese instead of the goat cheese in herbs. I would be tempted to serve that as a simple summer supper for two.
These pretty stacks come together in just 20 minutes, but are sure to impress your guests! What are some of your favorite spring recipes?
- 2 medium-large zucchinis, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (see Note)
- 3 slices prosciutto, diced
- 12 rounds Laura Chenel’s Marinated Cabecou Goat Cheese in Herbs
- 4 tablespoons sweet green peas (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted until light golden in a dry skillet
- 2 stalks fresh mint leaves (stems discarded)
- Toss the zucchini with 1½ tablespoons oil, and cook it until tender, but not mushy on the grill or under the broiler (about 8 minutes under the broiler, flipping once halfway through). Cool to room temperature.
- Add the remaining ½ tablespoon oil to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the prosciutto and cook until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
- To assemble the stacks, place a zucchini round on a plate; top with a goat cheese round, another zucchini round, another goat cheese round, and then a zucchini round on top (so you get 3 layers of zucchini and 2 layers of goat cheese).
- Sprinkle the prosciutto, peas, pine nuts, and mint on top of the stack and around the plate. Serve at room temperature.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: I reserved the oil from the goat cheese and used that for this recipe.
Green Peas: You can use frozen or fresh peas. For frozen, thaw the peas under warm running water and drain well. For fresh, blanch the peas for 90 seconds, plunge into ice water, and drain well.
Disclosure: I received the Laura Chenel’s goat cheese that I used in this recipe for free, and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.