Friday, August 27, 2010

Zucchini Prelude

Zucchini is one of those words I just never feel like I spell right.     Is it the double cc's?  The silent h?    It has a nice ring to it though... a little Italian I think.  

My date night in Paris had me thinking.   It may have been the steak frites, but I started thinking that in my wedding preparation zealousness, I may be depriving my little household of iron in the form of meat.   Red meat.  

My fascination with quinoa, barley and all other kinds of whole grain goodies has me delving pretty heavily into the world of vegetarianism again.    I have gone through several phases of this in my life, the current entry prompted by a recent study of Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" which, as far as I'm concerned, should be required reading.    I am not 100% ready to make the full switch yet, but I like to think I've been practicing for the good of our health.

As a result, things like steak are typically reserved for date night.   In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that on any given night out, my fiance will order something involving red meat.  

So, between the reflecting on the fantastic steak frites in Paris, the need for a date night of the at home variety and the end of summer approaching, I decided it was time to indulge in one last summer steak.  

But first, we must get our veggies in.  

The prelude to our fabulous steak dinner, which is coming, I promise, was a simple vegetarian first course built upon, you guessed it, zucchini.   Zucchini.   (I just like saying that).

This one's easy, fun to assemble, colorful, light and fresh and makes for a fabulous first course, perfect for preparing one's palate for the totally indulgent and mouthwatering steak to follow.    

Zucchini Garlic Herb Cheese and Roasted Tomato Roll-Ups
Serves 2-4
2 medium size zucchini
1 cup grape tomatoes
Garlic Herb Cheese Spread (I used the light version of Alouette)
Olive Oil

Start first by roasting the tomatoes.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Rinse, dry and add whole grape tomatoes to an oven proof dish.   Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Roll the tomatoes around in the dish to cover them.      Roast in oven for 45 minutes to an hour.     Remove from oven and cool.

Tomatoes (pre-roasting)

While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the zucchini.   Slice both ends of zucchini.   Standing upright, slice zucchini lengthwise into 4 or 5 long slices that would be suitable for rolling.   Drizzle lightly with olive oil.   Sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Set aside.

Prepare your grill.   I used an indoor grill pan for these and it worked perfectly.    Heat to high temperature.   When ready, grill zucchini slices, 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness).    Remove from grill.   Set aside and let cool.

Zucchini (post-grilling)

When zucchini and tomatoes have cooled, it is time to start assembly.    Lay one zucchini slice flat and spread with a thin layer of garlic herb cheese.    Drop one tomato at the top of slice and begin rolling, tucking in a tomato every layer or so.     Continue with each zucchini slice until all have been rolled.   Set aside until ready to serve.    

Ta-Da!  (easy!)

Stay tuned for the meat and potatoes portion of this delicious date night (at home)!


  1. mmm these look good! Zucchini is one thing I don't use enough of. :)

  2. yuuuuuummy! this looks soo good. i make an eggplant rollitini thing that looks similar but has a completely different filling.

    ack, now i'm hungry (again). ;)

    happy weekend!

  3. What a brilliant (and pretty!) way to assemble zucchini!! Looks scrumptious :)

  4. These sound delicious, and I'm always looking for new ways to use all the zucchini from my garden.

  5. These look delicious. I wish we could have a grill here in NY but I'm pretty sure it's frowned upon. I will definitely save this recipe for when I do!

  6. Thanks all for your comments! They are seriously easy to make. Nothing better than simple recipes with fresh in season ingredients!

    Janet - ahhh.... try an indoor grill pan if you get a chance! I used one to make these. (Full disclosure - I suppose I should state here that I also filled the lower level of the house with grill like smoke and then had to open all the doors for a few minutes to clear it out, but that was probably just user error :)


Thanks so much for your comments! I love hearing from you and read each and every one!