My husband has been recently complaining that we have too much zucchini in the fridge.
But if you think for a moment, how can you resist creamy zucchini pesto that can be used for pasta AND crostini, or pasta with zucchini, cherry tomatoes and bottarga.
Or one of the summer favorites – skinny vegetable lasagna?
Simple answer, you CAN’T.
So, yeah, I needed ALL those zucchini and their use was well validated.
Now, guess what?
Yesterday I got a fresh batch of zucchini (not to pull my husband’s leg…oh maybe just a little 😀 ) but to make this green, YUMMY and soo simple to make zuccini appetizer.
Before we get to the recipe itself, here a few tricks that’ll make this easy antipasto a total nobrainer.
- Choose medium size zucchini. Smaller ones won’t have enough space for the filling. Oversized ones are harder to slice and they also get awkward when eating. This whole zucchini story is intended to be bite-size bits.
- Use mandoline for slicing. Not that you can’t use a regular knife. But why make things complicated when you don’t have to? 😉
- To add an extra tanginess to the filling use Pecorino cheese instead of Parm, or a mix of both.
- Lastly, check on your first batch of zucchini in the oven often. You don’t want them charred, but soft with a little crunch to them. Once you get the first batch right, remember the setting and repeat the process with the remaining slices.
Easy Zucchini Rolls with Ricotta & Pesto Sauce
- 3-4 zucchini , medium size
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp basil pesto
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- Handful cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 cups arugula leaves
- Salt , pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Wash and dry zucchini with a paper towel.
- Cut off tops and bottoms.
- Using a mandoline slicer slice zucchini into 3-4 mm (⅛ of an inch) thick slices.
- Sprinkle or brush with extra virgin olive oil (optional).
- Arrange slices in one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in a preheated to 375 oven for 5 minutes.
- Repeat the process with remaining zucchini.
Prepare the filling
- Drain ricotta to remove excess liquid (if any). Mix in grated Parmesan cheese, basil pesto. Adjust for salt and pepper.
- Spread ricotta filling over zucchini slices and roll.
- Serve on a bed of arugula leaves topped with cherry tomatoes and more pesto sauce if needed.
If you happen to have any zucchini leftovers don’t rush to a trash can.
Instead, cut them in thin strips, season lightly with vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a few pinches of oregano OR mint leaves.
Sooo sooo good…
In fact, I might make a separate recipe for this. It’s an appetizer that fits perfectly with all kind of mains.