This is a beautiful way to use up zucchini in warmer weather. Make it meat-free or add some ham to the mix for your carnivorous family. This was part of our Spring 2020 Meal Plan, so make sure you subscribe to receive your monthly Four Fast Weeknights recipes and another seasonal meal plan every quarter.
- Look for some lovely fresh zucchinis and tomatoes at a local market or fruit and vegetable shop. You can often pick up a whole kilo for a few dollars.
- Try to get medium and similar shaped zucchinis so the rolls will be consistent.
- You can use store bought tomato passata or even pasta sauce, but this is so much richer with fresh blitzed tomatoes when they are in season.
Kids in the kitchen jobs:
- Veggie washer – it is always important to wash veggies, even organic ones, so teach them young.
- Use a child-safe knife to chop the tomatoes, cut out any woody cores and place in the food processor.
- Press the processor button to blitz into a sauce.
Fresh zucchini roll bake
- cutting board
- sharp knife
- mandolin cutter or potato peeler
- 1 large or 2 medium baking dishes
- 6 ripe tomatoes chopped
- ¼ cup semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (dried if fresh unavailable)
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 2 tsp raw sugar
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 medium-size zucchinis sliced into long thin strips use a potato peeler, mandolin cutter or long knife
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated, keep 1/2 cup for topping
- 1½ cups ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 200C and line baking dishes with baking paper (scrunch it under a running tap then smooth out for a more flexible lining).
- Place the tomatoes, tomato paste, half the lemon juice, sugar, salt, basil leaves and parsley into a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth.
- Take a baking dish and pour in half the tomato mixture, spread across the base.
- In a bowl combine the ricotta, cheddar cheese, eggs, thyme, remaining lemon juice and lemon zest.
- With the washed zucchini you want long, thin slices, as long as possible and as rectangular in shape as possible. They need to be thin enough to use like fresh lasagne sheets. You can slice by hand, use a wide peeler or use a vegetable slicer.
- Roll a piece of zucchini into a circle and place into the tomato base, start against the edge. Fill the centre with ricotta mixture. Continue until all the ingredients have been used.
- Fill any gaps with remaining tomato mixture. Gently sprinkle each one with parmesan and the reserved cheddar cheese.
Bake and store
- Bake in the oven for approx. 25- 30 minutes or until nice and golden on top and zucchini is cooked through.
- This dish can be frozen in the dish just before cooking, see make-ahead notes, or cooked and frozen whole. It can also be chilled then separated into individual portions and frozen in various serving sizes.
- Can add ham for a different flavour – combine with the cheese mixture.
- Choose other cheeses for the topping and fillings if you like. Zucchini is very versatile
- Add chilli to the tomato sauce for a more adult version.
- This looks beautiful served as either a side dish or the main event.