Zucchini Rolls with Herbed Goat Cheese and Red Pepper

Recently, my friends Jill, Cathy, and hubbies came for dinner.  Good friends and good food always make for an enjoyable evening.

Cathy and Jill never arrive empty handed for a get-together.  They showed up bearing appetizers, wine, and dessert, so it was a really easy dinner from my end.  I had decided to make something I had previously posted, moist Dijon rosemary chicken, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to stop and take photos.  The appetizers that Jill and Cathy brought were so pretty and so delicious that I ended up taking lots of photos after all.

With the holidays right around the corner, I am sharing one of the eye-catching appetizers Jill brought.  She knew I’d want the recipe, so she brought along the Fine Cooking entertainment issue which featured the recipe.  These gluten free zucchini rolls make a striking presentation and fall into the category of “taste as good as they look.”  More later…

One year ago:  Banana Spice Cake with Crumbs

Two years ago:  Italian Beef, Cinnamon Galaxy Pumpkin Squares

Zucchini Rolls with Herbed Goat Cheese and Red Pepper

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Yields 16 pieces; easily doubled

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini, washed, dried and ends trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives
  • 1/4 lb. goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 jarred roasted Spanish piquillo red peppers (or 1 jarred roasted red pepper), cut into 1/4-inch strips

Directions

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with a couple layers of paper towels.

Using a mandoline, slice the zucchini lengthwise to get 16 long, thin strips each about 1/8-inch thick.  Set the zucchini on the paper towel and sprinkle both sides with salt; you’ll use about 1 teaspoon for all the slices.  Let sit for 15 minutes to soften; then remove excess water.

Meanwhile, trim any coarse ends from the chives.  Cut 2-inch-long pieces from the tip end of the chives and reserve.  Thinly slice the rest of the chives (you should have about 1 tablespoon sliced chives).

In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese with the sliced chives, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and the cayenne.  Season with more salt and pepper to taste (it should be assertive).

Pat the slices of zucchini dry on both sides with more paper towels.  Set a slice of zucchini on a clean work surface and spread with about 1 tsp. of the goat cheese (you may want to use your fingers for this).  At one end of the zucchini, lay one or two strips of the red pepper and a few of the 2-inch chive sticks, positioning them perpendicular to the roll so that their more attractive end will peek out when the zucchini slice gets rolled.  Beginning with the chive end, roll the zucchini up and stand the roll upright on its edges on a platter.  Refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving.

Source:  Fine Cooking recipe via my friend Jill

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