We're always grilling during the summer. It keeps the house cool, there's way less cleanup and that savory grilled flavor just can't be beat. But with summer comes summer entertaining, and we're always on the lookout for easy dishes that'll complement our one true passion: committing to entertaining and then getting really overwhelmed beforehand.
Good news! I've got a vegetarian appetizer that your guests won't be able to pass up. It's loaded with fresh, summery flavor and comes together in a snap and a half. And it'll help use up some of that zucchini from your garden before you fall into your end-of-summer zucchini burnout.
One note here: I highly recommend making an extra batch of the goat cheese mixture because you're going to want to spread it on everything you see! Think toast, mixed in pasta, eaten with raw vegetables and spread onto crackers. It's fully addicting, so consider this your warning.
Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbed Goat Cheese
Yield: 8-10 rolls
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 2-3 teaspoons freshly chopped herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley work well together)
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons diced roasted red peppers
- 2 medium zucchini (about 7-inches long and 2-inches wide)
- Oil for grilling
- Kalamata olives
- Additional herbs and lemon, for serving
Preheat your grill to medium (about 350 F).
In a small bowl, mash goat cheese with a fork until softened. Mix in herbs, salt, pepper and garlic. Taste and add more salt if desired. Gently mix in the roasted peppers, then set aside.
Trim the ends and slice your zucchini lengthwise into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick even slabs. Lightly oil on both sides.
Once the grill is hot, brush with oil and lay zucchini on the grill grates to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until grill marks start to appear. Flip and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the grill and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Spread 2-3 teaspoons of the goat cheese mixture down the length of each zucchini slab. Roll tightly. Skewer an olive on a toothpick and press into each roll. Serve at room temperature or chill before serving, and garnish with a few springs of fresh herbs and a lemon wedge.
You can make these a few hours in advance, but save the toothpick and olive addition until you're ready to serve. These will keep in the fridge for a few days, but they're best served (for a party/company) the day of. They're a true standout warm, room temp or chilled, so take your pick! You can even chop them up to use as a salad topping.