If you're looking for new appetizer recipes or new appetizer ideas, try these creamy, bite sized vegetable bombs. Zucchini appetizer rolls with goat cheese and colorful vegetables make a great vegetarian appetizer. Try them when friends come for dinner and for healthy game day snacks. Zucchini rolls are another great way to use zucchini.
Zucchini Appetizer Rolls with Goat Cheese
When my neighbors kids wolfed these down for an afternoon snack, I figured it was a good recipe to post. The are light, colorful and creamy. We were headed out of town for a few days and I was trying to use up my perishable produce and this was the idea. it worked!
They look fancy standing up for the photo but you can lay them flat on a plate to serve. If you let them stand for long they do get soft so they are best served right away.
How to Make Zucchini Roll Slices
The answer is using a mandolin or other handheld slicer. Using a mandolin, I sliced whole zucchini into long, thin slices ⅛" thick. Use a hand slicer that gives you clean, even slices.
Mandolins come in all price ranges, from $15 to more than $100. Buy what suits your budget and cooking needs. It's a tool you'll only buy once and have forever. Do a search on Amazon or check with your local kitchen store.
If you have a small kitchen, they usually fold flat (or are already flat) and don't take up much space plus they are handy for slicing all kinds of vegetables.
Salting the Zucchini Slices
Raw zucchini slices do not roll easily. Even thinly sliced, they can break. To soften slices enough to roll, I tried two methods. Broiling briefly and salting. Briefly broiling them, they shrank too much.
The method that worked best was simply salting the slices and waiting a 10-12 minutes until the slices softened, the pressing them dry between layers of paper towels to get rid of excess moisture. The slices did not shrink up and rolled easily once filled.
If you let them sit too long with salt, they will get too soft and be mushy instead of soft and pliable.
Zucchini Rolls Goat Cheese Filling
For the filling, warmed up goat cheese blends more easily than cold. Remove any plastic wrap and allow the cheese to sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. Then add it to a small bowl and stir in a little milk, olive oil, chopped chives and lemon zest until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
To add more color and crunch, add thin strips of vegetables, sprouts and chives when you roll the rolls. I used raw carrot and bell pepper, plus some sprouts and herbs from my garden pots.
Tip - Not a fan of goat cheese? Try softened cream cheese or whipped cream cheese, which is easier to spread.
After slicing the zucchini, salting and drying the slices, place about 2 teaspoons of the filling on the slices and spread over the length. Next, space out fine strips of raw carrot and raw red bell pepper, then fill in with a few strips of chives. I had a few basil leaves left in the garden, so I used them too. Smaller leaves worked better. If all you have is larger ones, cut them down to size.
A Few Recipe Tips
Choose medium zucchini, about 7-8 ounces in size. You can slice them ahead of time, just don't salt them until you are ready to complete the zucchini roll ups. If you slice them ahead, roll them in paper towels then wrap them tightly so they don't dry out. This also might reduce the drying time.
The first slices won't be usable. Save them for chopping up and adding to a green salad.
- Mandolin or handheld slicer
- 2 medium green zucchini about 7 ounces each
- 2 carrots
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 handful micro greens or soft sprouts optional
- 1 5 ounce og goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black or white pepper pepper
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 12 small thin chives to use in rolls
- 12-24 basil leaves 1 package
- Place the goat cheese, olive oil, milk, lemon zest, chives, salt, pepper and granulated garlic in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until soft and smooth.
- Trim ends off zucchini. With a mandolin or other hand held slicing tool, slice zucchini into ⅛″thick strips. You should get about 12 strips. Place zucchini on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Let the strips sit with the salt about 10-12 minutes, or just until they are soft and pliable. Wipe off the salt and pat the slices dry in more paper towels. Lay the slices flat, and spread end to end with about 2 teaspoons of the filling.
- While the zucchini slices are resting, slice bell pepper and carrots into thin strips. Ready any sprouts and basil leaves. To assemble the rolls, spread about 2 teaspoon of the goat cheese blend across a slice, then space out the vegetables, sprouts and basil. See the photo in post for assistance. Roll from the smaller end first. Lay flat to serve.