I buy a Provident Produce basket every few weeks, and this week I got two long cucumbers. I used part of one for a salad, but I get tired of eating cucumber sticks with dressing. I was trying to think of an alternative way to use my cucumbers when I saw the extra Manicotti Supreme filling I had in my freezer. I quickly sauteed the filling and peeled some cucumber slices, and voila! This great cucumber appetizer was invented!
If you need a last minute St. Patty’s appetizer for guests tonight, want a great appetizer that your kids will love or just need a little snack, try it out!
2 long cucumbers
1/2 lb ground spicy sausage
1 pint light ricotta cheese
2 cups Italian cheese blend
1 cup chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 small red bell pepper, finely diced
Saute the sausage with the bell pepper, until cooked. Make sure the sausage is fairly small pieces.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/4 cup Italian cheese, eggs, spinach, sugar, pepper and salt in a bowl until well mixed. Add the sausage and continue to saute for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the eggs have firmed up the sauce. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, so it doesn’t cook the cucumbers.
Wash the peel of the cucumbers. Using a potato peeler, peel one stroke off the cucumber skins. This can be discarded. Continuing to peel on the same location as before. peel strips cucumber, with the flesh in the center and small lines of dark green peel on the edges. These will serve as your wraps, so try to keep them as long as possible.
Scoop 1 tsp of the sausage filling onto the end of a cucumber strip. Roll the cucumber, with the filling in the center, and put a toothpick through at the end to keep the cucumbers rolled up.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.