It's that time of year when you avoid your neighbors.
The time of year when you hear a knock on the door and sneak over to the peephole to see who it is.
When you wave politely from your car but ignore gestures to pull over and talk.
When you go out to check your mail under the cover of darkness.
It's zucchini season.
I say this all tongue-in-cheek because in truth, I love to get zucchinis from our neighbors, and since we don't grow them ourselves we aren't overrun with them. But there is no denying the abundance that even one zucchini plant can produce, and the need to come up with creative ways to use it.
These zucchini roll-ups are one of my new favorites because they are easy, pretty, and even fairly healthy. They have a herb cream cheese layer that gives the wraps wonderful flavor and can easily be modified to fit your tastes. I have even used low-fat cream cheese and it still tastes delicious. The bright colors of the zucchini and bell peppers make this an impressive-looking dish, especially considering how easy it is. In fact, I'd have to say their only drawback is that the recipe only uses up two zucchini. Looks like I'm still going to need to avoid my neighbors a little longer.
Head over to The Sunday Sweet for a chance to bid on some great treats for a good cause!
Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups
2 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into strips 1/4 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters
2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 oz cream cheese
1 T finely chopped basil
1/2 T chopped chives
1 tsp chopped parsley
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush both sides of the zucchini and bell pepper quarters with 1 T of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Combine cream cheese, basil, chives and parsley in a small bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until the herbs are fully incorporated into the cream cheese.
3. Place zucchini and bell pepper on grill. Grill 1-5 minutes per side or until soft. Remove from grill and slice bell pepper into 1/4 inch strips, and then cut into pieces about 1 inch in length.
4. Place 1 tsp of the cream cheese mixture about 1/2 inch from one end of each zucchini strip. (Cover remaining zucchini with foil so they stay warm.) Top each with a few slices of bell pepper, and gently roll up. Place on a serving platter with the seam side down. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and remaining tablespoon of oil and serve immediately. (If rolls have cooled before serving, try wrapping them in foil and placing them on the grill for a few minutes to re-warm.)
Makes 12-16 roll-ups.
Recipe Source: Adapted from a recipe card from the produce section of my supermarket