Right now, we have zucchini and chevre cheese coming out of our ears, and I’m scrambling for new and interesting ways to use it.
Dahlia has started producing much more milk than we can consume so I’ve been preserving it as a cheese – mostly chevre, to be exact.
Flavor is big with me, and if a meal tastes bland (and let’s face it, sometimes squash does), it just doesn’t fly as well.
So, cooking it with some sort of flavor is necessary.
Here in the south, the big thing is frying zucchini. Gross!
One reason I love zucchini (aside from the fact that it’s easy to grow) is that when it’s fresh, it has a pumpkin-like taste to it – so while it’s a summer vegetable, it has a hint of autumn in it.
Frying it kills that fresh taste.
And here’s the thing about cooking:
I like to only use ingredients we’ve produced on the farm.
So, what’s a homesteader to do?
Enter grilling and chevre cheese.
Why chevre? Because the cheese mixes so well with my homemade mixture of Herbs de Provence, and gives any sandwich an extra kick in the butt.
Chevre also has a flavor that compliments any vegetable well – and since chevre can be a little more dry and crumbly, it compliments the juiciness of a ripe vegetable very well.
Add in homemade bread, and you’ve got a gourmet-style sandwich on your hands, all made with fresh, local, sustainable ingredients.
This recipe is a great way to enjoy the bounty of the summer.
That’s why I came up with this Grilled Zucchini and Chevre Cheese Sandwich – it’s a flavor monster while still being healthy and sustainable.
The key to this recipe, aside from the cheese, is to grill your zucchini long enough that it’s infused with the chevre’s flavor, but not so long that the sandwich gets super mushy.
It’s perfect for a fast but flavorful lunch. And you can’t get a recipe any closer to “farm to table.”
1. Mix Your Chevre Cheese With Herbs
You can use fresh or dried herbs – each is equally valuable with it’s own benefits.
(Want to make homemade chevre cheese?)
Dried herbs are concentrated with flavor and easier to mix with the chevre, while fresh herbs are, well, fresh, and impart that flavor into the sandwich in this recipe.
The chevre I like to use with this recipe hasn’t been tightly pressed – so the cheese is firm, but because the curds haven’t developed a bloom, so it’s looser and easier to spread.
You can use any herb you like on your sandwich – for this recipe, I used Herb de Provence with the chevre, but feel free to try your own favorite herb or blend.
Herb de Provence blends very well with squashes, so it’s usually my go-to herb with them. It’s hearty without being heavy – perfect for a summer meal.
Just mash the chevre with the herbs to mix, trying to evenly distribute the herbs throughout the cheese.
This also will make your chevre cheese softer, and easier to spread on the sandwich.
2. Peel your zucchini and cut into 1/4″ slices
I use a vegetable peeler remove the tough outer skin – with the peeler, it’s a snap, and leaves most of the squash’s meat.
Cut the zucchini into 1/4″ thick slices – they will grill well without becoming soggy and falling apart – super important because who wants a sandwich that’s falling apart?
3. Grill the zucchini slices
You have a couple options here. You can steam your zucchini on the grill using aluminum foil, or you can cook it directly on the grill.
I personally prefer to cook it directly on the grill because I like the flavor.
Cook it for about 10 minutes – long enough to soften it up and get some flavor, but not so long it turns to a mushy mess.
If you can’t grill outside, you can use your oven’s broiler (sometimes I do this just for the sake of convenience, especially during the summer when we’re out farming all day).
4. Grill your bread
For this sandwich, I grill the bread slightly to give it more substance – only a few minutes though, so it’s firm without becoming hard.
You can also grill it after you assemble the sandwich, if you want it make it more of a panini.
The bread will be slightly warm – making it easier to spread the chevre cheese and infuse the bread with some of its flavor.
4. Assemble your sandwich
Feel free to use your favorite bread – I prefer a bread that’s soft with a thicker crust.
Be sure to use thick slices so your bread doesn’t fall apart.
Spread your chevre cheese onto the bread – in this recipe, the herbed chevre is the flavor-making condiment. I put the cheese on the top and bottom.
Place your grilled zucchini between the chevre and bread. Now is the time to grill the sandwich if you want a panini.
There you go – two incredible summer ingredients – chevre cheese and zucchini – combined with homemade bread for an easy “farm to table” meal!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.