When I posted my last Snackrament idea (Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Sage), I did have a moment of hesitation. Though I myself am not currently a vegan or vegetarian, many pagans do have these diets as a part of their faith. After all, in a group of faiths which all agree that the idea of “harming none” is a good one, it’s hard to argue that meat consumption isn’t harmful. At the very least, it harms the animal that provides the meat.
I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian for about three years, so while I currently do consume meat, I can understand the importance of providing tasty vegetarian alternatives. So if the idea of wrapping apricots and sage sounded appealing to you, here’s a yummy sounding vegetarian alternative. White beans and cheese provide the protein boost of the bacon (but with a lot less fat!)
Blue Cheese, Apricot, and Sage Zucchini Twirls
from Cook Play Explore
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini or navy
3 oz. blue cheese
freshly ground pepper
14 sage leaves
16 dried Turkish apricots
In a medium bowl, mash beans and blend thoroughly with blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, slice zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strips, about 1/8 inch thick. (A mandoline is a great tool for this. Alternately, try a vegetable peeler). Sprinkle salt on both sides of the zucchini strips and lay them out on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel for 15 minutes. While the zucchini rests, cut the sage and apricots into long, thin strips like matchsticks.
Dry the zucchini with a fresh towel and begin assembling the appetizers. At one of the each strip, lay out a few strips of sage and apricot and top with a teaspoon of the bean and cheese blend. Roll up the zucchini strip, gently but firmly, and secure with a toothpick.
VARIATIONS: Blue cheese is a cheese that not everyone enjoys. Feel free to substitute a soft, creamy cheese. Goat cheese (chèvre) will do nicely, and even cream cheese could work. To make the recipe vegan, try mashing the beans along with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.