I was nervous to serve this dip to friends this weekend. I like to try a recipe out a couple of times at home before I’m ready to share it with the world (or just four other people). I provided disclaimer after disclaimer for the spread to my sweet friends. Once this gooey, Italian-inspired veggie dip finished baking and we all had seen the bubbly, cheesy goodness, all worries evaporated. The only concern left was how long, exactly, we had to wait before digging in with crackers in order to avoid burning our tongues!
I needed to add something to the “win” column, though, so this dish was very well-timed. We’ve been cooped up with yet another round of winter weather. Mops and I look increasingly like siblings. My hair looks pretty much as crazy as hers when it’s this dry outside.
Seriously. We kind of look like twins. Although I may need to invest in a conditioning treatment in the near future, you don’t need to worry about this dip being too dry.
I’m especially pleased with the way that the flavors came together – the dip tasted like spring in Italy. Zucchini and roasted red peppers are both delicate and mellow in flavor. I used two cheeses: chevre and sharp cheddar. These cheeses contrast perfectly with each other. Soft, nutty chevre adds to the light flavor of the veggies and cheddar bubbles and gets slightly crunchy when it is baked. And I’d pair white wine with all of these flavors (and almost all other flavors, too, for that matter).
Italian Goat Cheese & Zucchini Dip
Serves 6 to 8
You will need:
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
- 1/4 tsp. each sea salt and black pepper
- 6 ounces chevre
- 5 ounces grated sharp white cheddar
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Saute zucchini, olive oil, and garlic on medium heat in a large skillet.
- Cook for a couple of minutes, until onions become slightly transparent.
- Add white wine, roasted red peppers, Italian seasoning blend, salt and pepper.
- Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, prepare a 9×9 baking dish by evenly distributing crumbled chevre.
- Transfer vegetable mixture into baking dish.
- Top with grated cheddar, lemon zest, and basil leaves, if desired.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.
- Serve hot with crusty bread or crackers.