“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today continues a four-part series from the college’s “hot foods team,” which participates in competitions against other college culinary programs. Vegetables in long-stemmed glasses are on the menu today, Tomato and Zucchini Verrines offered by second-year student Kristin Hartman.
Culinary dictionaries say verrines are appetizers or desserts made of components layered in small glasses. French chefs started the trend about a decade ago.
Kristin Hartman says verrines are great ways to highlight layers of texture and color.
“They can be sweet or savory,” Hartman said. “There’s zucchini, yellow and red tomatoes, red onion, garlic, oil, parsley, chives and basil, topped with a piece of baked prosciutto.”
Hartman said the verrines can be served like salads.
“They’re very bright,” Hartman said. “They kind of make you think of spring.”
Tomato and Zucchini Verrines
3 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half, lengthwise
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and small diced
2 medium yellow tomatoes, seeded and small diced
2⁄3 cup seeded, finely diced zucchini
1⁄2 cup minced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil, plus small basil leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1⁄2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Lay prosciutto on an oiled baking sheet. Place in oven and cook until dry and crisp, do not brown. Let cool on tray and reserve until verrines are finished.
In a small skillet, toast the almonds over moderately low heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Cool and reserve.
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Combine sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
Place half of the dressing in the bottoms of 6 small glasses or jars. Evenly distribute the salad mixture between 6 glasses.
Top with remaining dressing, sprinkle with toasted almonds. Place a piece of prosciutto into each salad so it stands up out of the glass. Serve.
The verrines can be prepared and refrigerated overnight but bake and insert prosciutto just before serving.