Zucchini Roll-Ups with Homemade Ricotta


Zucchini Roll-Ups are easy to make and a delicious way to use a bumper crop of the vegetable.

Zucchini Roll-Ups

2-3 zucchini

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

Homemade ricotta cheese, or store bought

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 bunch of basil

optional: sliced mushrooms–a mixture is nice


Slice the zucchini on a mandolin slicer, very thinly.  You’ll need 2-3 slices per person.  Dice any unused portion of zucchini and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet, and stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and diced zucchini with pinches of salt.  Cook until tender, just a few minutes.  Transfer to a bowl, and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, blanch the zucchini slices in boiling water for 1 minute, then remove to a plate lined with paper toweling.

Make a tomato sauce with ¼ cup finely diced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, and pinches of salt softened in olive oil.  Stir in 3 diced summer tomatoes or a small container of cherry tomatoes with a pinch of dried red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat to a sauce consistency.  Add ¼ cup dry red wine, if you like.

When the garlic and diced zucchini mixture has cooled a bit, stir in the ricotta, Parmesan, and half the basil leaves.  Taste and salt again as needed.

Lay the drained zucchini slices on a cutting board and spoon 1 tbsp of ricotta filling onto each slice, then roll up.  Place into a baking dish.  Repeat with all the zucchini slices.  Top with the tomato sauce, and bake at 350° for 10 minutes.  Serve as an appetizer.


Homemade Ricotta Cheese

6 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream.

¼ cup vinegar

sea salt

In a large heavy pot, combine the milk, cream and vinegar. Add ¼ tsp salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. As you stir, curds will begin to form. Continue to cook and stir for another few minutes.

It will be a very liquid mixture of curds and whey. When done, it may need more salt to taste.

Line a mesh strainer with a clean and almost threadbare dishtowel and place over a bowl large enough to hold the strained whey. Pour the milk mixture through the strainer, separating the curds from the whey, letting it drain for about 20-25 minutes. Freeze the resulting protein-rich whey in appropriate quantities to use in soups this winter. The ricotta makes flavorful dips or spreads, and fillings for zucchini or eggplant roll-ups,or fill a pocket in a pork chop or chicken breast.