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Zucchini Rolls Stuffed With Spinach, Pine Nuts & Cheese

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“I started making these 4 or 5 years ago for a client who grew zucchini and kept giving them to me by the bushels. One night I made a similar version of these for her as a main course, baked with a meat sauce over pasta and she was hooked. Well, she was the one who suggested that I make them smaller and as an appetizer. These are fun and definitely not difficult to make. Roll them up and pan saute them. You could also grill them, but I prefer to dredge mine lightly in seasoned flour and just lightly saute until golden brown. A fresh marinara makes a wonderful dipping sauce and takes only minutes to make. I made these for a small dinner party a few weeks back. I rolled them all up ahead of time, cooked them and then just refrigerated. I heated them up in the oven right before serving them. They just take minutes to cook. They are creamy, crunchy and fresh tasting. For the sauce, buy a quality marinara, jar or deli brand or you can easily make your own. I take advantage and just use a good store brand.”
READY IN:
40mins
SERVES:
24
YIELD:
24 Rolls
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 large zucchini (thin sliced lengthwise)
  • 3 ounces herb goat cheese (you can also use a Boursin, but I prefer the tang of the goat cheese)
  • 34 cup pine nuts, fine chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 12 cup black olives, fine chopped
  • 1 12 cups marinara sauce (dipping sauce, just buy a good quality, deli fresh sauce, or you can also make your own)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 12 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Zucchini -- I used a mandolin to slice mine, but you can easily thin slice them by hand. Cut off each end, leave the skin on but thin slice. About 1/4" thick. The two sides with the outer skin, just throw out. You should get about 8 slices per zucchini, it really depends on the size.
  2. Blanching -- I do this the easy way. A small pie plate, 2-3 tablespoons of water and put the zucchini in, 1 layer at a time, cover with plastic wrap and put in the microwave for about 1 minute. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to dry. This light cooking in the microwave will soften the zucchini and make them easy to roll. Lightly cook all the zucchini slices. Let them all dry off well and cool.
  3. Filling -- Mix the olives with the goat cheese and a pinch of pepper, just use a fork it works best. Spread the zucchini slices with goat cheese, top with nuts and then a few spinach leaves.
  4. Roll -- Roll the slices up tight and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Dredge -- Mix the flour with the red pepper, salt and pepper. Dredge each zucchini roll in the flour until lightly coated.
  6. Saute -- In a large non stick pan (preferred), heat the oil to medium / medium high heat and saute the rolls until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
  7. Serve -- I like to serve these with a warm marinara sauce.

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