Forget cocoa puffs. I go coo-coo for zucchini. And with very good reason. Any vegetable that can be baked with chocolate, layered with cheese, breaded with panko, grilled with garlic or mixed into lemon loaf is a winner. This fabulous veggie is filled with moisture that makes your breads tender, your pancakes pop and your grill basket grin (not the best, but I like alliteration).
Though I grew up with a garden where I could pluck a zucchini at whim, our second floor apartment is not exactly primo zucchini planting ground. Most of the year, I am limited to the wee zucchinis available at the local market. Delicious, but small. Fortunately, has been a lovely hot summer with perfect zucchini-growing conditions. Friends have zucchini bursting out of their ears and are feeling extra generous. Needless to say, when someone left a zucchini the size of my thigh on my desk, I did not turn up my nose. Rather, I took to the challenge with glee. It has brought out some very creative and delicious new recipes, such as these delicious grilled zucchini tartines with Thai peanut chicken.
I fortunately am in the possession of the best peanut sauce recipe of all time. I take no credit for this recipe, but instead thank the mother of of of my Thai friends from college. I love this stuff. If you don't feel like making it from scratch, you will really miss out. The sauce is truly the star of this dish. It is sassy, fresh and delicious. And typically right now, I'd post a picture. Except the picture comes nowhere near to doing it justice.....so I'll let your imagination and taste buds wander, and trust you to do the rest.
The remainder of this dish is quite simple. First, gather the toppings and place on standby - thinly sliced carrots, your favorite greens (a-hem, kale!) and shredded chicken tossed in the peanut sauce to your saucy preference.
Next, grill your zucchini rounds. I recommend one round per person for a madam bear, and two for those papa bear sized appetites out there.
Top with your greens and sliced carrots....
...before piling as high as you dare with chicken and peanuts.
Warning - this dish is deceptively filling. Even our typically papa bear appetites could only handle one tartine. A side of zucchini and carrots was all we needed to achieve a very satisfied tummy.
Thai Chicken & Zucchini Tartine (4 servings)
- 1 1/2 c chicken breast
- 1/2 c Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
- 1 large zucchini
- 1/2 c greens
- 1/2 c finely chopped carrot
- 1/4 c peanuts
Place a grill pan on medium-high heat. While pan is heading, shred your chicken breast and toss in the peanut sauce. Slice the carrots with a mandolin or a chop finely with a knife.
Slice desired number of zucchini rounds about 1/3 of an inch thick each. Spray the heated grill pan with non-stick and place the zucchini rounds on the pan. Grill for about 2 minutes per side, until zucchini has grill marks on both sides and is tender when forked. Removed to plates to cool.
Top each round with greens and weigh down with shredded carrots. Top with peanut chicken and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with a extra veggies or more sauce for dunking.
Thai Peanut Sauce
- 1 tbs vegetable or coconut oil
- 1 tsp red curry paste
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 c unsweetened coconut milk (I make my own)
- 1/2 c water
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- sugar to taste
- chili flakes (for hotter sauce)
Add the oil to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the curry paste and turmeric and stir into oil. Let sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir together well to combine and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for about 5 minutes before removing from heat. Let cool, then eat as quickly as possible.