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The involtini experiments continue!
This format—roast, stuff, roll, roast—is very adaptable and forgiving. Here, the ricotta filling is mixed with sautéed chard and lemon zest, but I’ve had success using leftover fresh corn polenta, chopped up roasted red peppers, and cubes of mozzarella, which makes me think the possibilities are endless.
Friends, let’s think, what else will involtini?Print
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 2
I discovered eggplant involtini via Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread. I wrote about this adaptation for Food52 but have posted the recipe here, too, because I love it so much.
Note: I like the addition of the chard but know that you can make these with a simple seasoned ricotta if that’s more appealing: Just season the ricotta with salt, lemon zest, and thyme (if you have it) to taste. The dish can be assembled ahead and stashed in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.
- 2 pounds zucchini, about 2 large or 2 to 4 medium
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 10 ounces Swiss chard, optional, leaves removed and finely chopped, stems reserved for another use
- 1.25 cups high-quality whole milk ricotta
- Zest from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, optional, finely chopped
- 1 to 1.5 cups favorite fresh tomato sauce, such as this one or this one
- Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425° F (convection roast if you have it). Line two standard sheet pans or one x-large sheet pan with parchment paper or Silpats, or rub lightly with olive oil. Trim the stem end of each zucchini. Stand each vertically, and make 1/4-inch thick cuts down to create long slices—these don’t have to be perfect. Arrange the slices on the prepared sheetpans. Drizzle the zucchini with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes to 20 minutes. Note: The cooking times will vary depending on how thinly you slice your zucchini—if you slice them less than 1/4-inch thick, you won’t need the full amount of cooking time. Know that the timing is forgiving, however—you just need the zucchini to be pliable so that they can roll into a coil. If you cook them too much at this step, they’ll become brittle and won’t roll properly.
- Remove the pan from oven. Keep oven on.
- Meanwhile, if you are adding the Swiss chard, in a large sauté pan set over high heat, heat the tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the chard leaves, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté, rearranging with tongs as necessary. Cook the chard for about 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove pan from heat.
- To make the filling, in a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon zest, thyme, if using, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. When chard has cooled briefly, stir it into the ricotta mixture. Taste mixture. Add more salt to taste—I always add more salt … this is your chance to make sure the filling is seasoned properly.
- Spoon tomato sauce into two 9-inch round baking dishes or one 12-inch round baking dish or one 9×13-inch baking dish—the bottom of the dish should be covered in a thin layer. Place a spoonful (about 2 teaspoons) of filling at one end of each of the zucchini slices. Roll the slice into a tight coil and place it seam-side down in the dish on top of the tomato sauce. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake until the sauce has reduced slightly and is bubbling, and the rolls are lightly golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes. If the rolls are still not golden after the 25 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and preheat the broiler. Broil the involtini for about 3 minutes keeping a close watch the entire time.
- Remove pan from the oven and shave Parmesan over top if using. I like using my microplane for this.
- Note: If you have extra ricotta filling, store it in the fridge. It’s delicious spread over grilled bread.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: zucchini, involtini, summer, squash
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28 Comments on “Zucchini Involtini”
Your website and recipes are AMAZING! The photography is so beautiful and your writing style is so approachable. I made the eggplant involtini and discovered the joy of the creamiest, sweetest homemade riccotta- I’ve been making huge batches and putting it onor in everything I can think of! This is another awesome idea. Thanks so much for what you bring…
Lori, thank you!! You are too kind to say such things. I’m so happy you liked the eggplant involtini AND the homemade ricotta … isn’t it the best? Thanks so much for writing in 🙂
I think my baked cheese grits(they get nice and firm once refrigerated) would work well in that involtini too.
Yes, absolutely! That sounds amazing. Larry, I’ve never made baked cheese grits. Do you care to share your recipe? Would be so fun to try.
Baked Cheese Grits
1 cup Grits
4 cups water ( box instructions for good stone ground grits – beware “instant” grits”
follow instructions on box to get grits to an almost mash potato consistency.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1/4 cup butter
8 oz. cheese (prefer grated sharp cheddar)
2 eggs beaten
1 or 2 cloves of garlic -minced
1 tsp. salt
Stir in butter followed by cheese then the eggs and garlic.
bake in a pre-buttered 8″x8″ shallow PYREX dish
for 1 hour.
allow to cool – refrigerate…. then slice cheese grits into whatever serving size you desire.
In the south, we then fry the squares in butter! But you can reheat in the microwave.
Simply delicious! Tried it out on two friends, and we all loved it. Thank you so much.
Wonderful to hear this, Mary! Thanks so much for writing.
Absolutely delicious! I used frozen spinach as I didn’t have Swiss Chard. This will be on rotation for the rest of the summer, especially with company!
Ali, do you think this could be frozen (going out of town and I don’t want it to go bad)?
So nice to hear this, Susan! Thanks so much for writing. Yes, definitely freeze it!
I tried making this and, of course, it looked nothing like the picture! I found the zucchini is hard to slice thin enough to be pliable enough to roll. I’ve made this with eggplant and found that easier to deal with. I changed a lot of things with this recipe too. I didn’t have Ricotta so mixed cottage cheese with plain greek yogurt. I also had made a homemade meat sauce the day before so just used this instead of making the sauce she has here. It was good. I would make this again, but with young, sweet eggplants coming into the markets I might stay with the eggplant version.
Ciao Alexandra, as always we truly enjoy all your recipes, and these zucchini involtini were delicious. Our very hot spring here in Chianti and in the rest of Italia, has made available many vegetables already, and zucchini are in our markets. As you know, fresh ricotta here is always available, so it was a perfect marriage. I used some fresh mint from our garden in the ricotta, and it was all perfetto. No chard as that is now past, but will try in the winter, and when eggplants will be available, will try those. Grazie mille, enjoy your summer, and please continue your splendid recipes. Un grande abbraccio.
So nice to read all of this, Olga 🙂 🙂 🙂 I am envious of all of the produce you are receiving already. We are so far behind here in Upstate New York, but things are starting to happen. Mind sounds divine! Thanks so much for writing.
Yummy and easy! I substituted cottage cheese bc I don’t love ricotta.
Great to hear, Kate!
This was so delicious!! And fun to make.
Great to hear, Kelsey!
I need some tips pls – my dish turned out more watery than I would expect. Should I let it bake a little longer to thin up the tomato sauce? Also, I need help with picking the appropriate grater. My lemon zest never seems to come out right. Can you recommend a particular item to use for zesting lemons/lines (and also one to use when grating from a block of parm)? Tks Ali
Hi Nick! Bummer to hear. It sounds as though you do need to bake it longer. Did the rolled coils of involtini ever brown? During the first bake, did the slices of zucchini ever brown? I love my Microplane zester for citrus but also for garlic and ginger. Can’t recommend it enough!
Love the addition of chard. Perfect for the masses of both coming out of my garden!
Great to hear Martha! And great to hear from you 🙂 🙂 🙂 I hope all is well 💕💕💕💕
this is such a great recipe, we’ve made it twice now. definitely one of the best things we’ve made and it’s so simple! thank you!
So nice to hear this! I love this one this time of year. Thanks for writing 🙂
So delicious and easy to make as well! Thank you for another terrific vegetarian dish!
So nice to hear this, Sara! Thanks so much for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂
Everyone in my family absolutely loved this. I was surprised by how easy it was and how delicious. I made the tomato basil sauce the day before, which made it even easier to put together on a work day. It should be noted that even doubling the recipe for 4 people was not enough because it is so good and it is very light. My daughters suggested to serve it with a protein next time.
Great to read all of this, Heather! Thanks so much for writing and sharing yours and your daughters’ notes… so helpful for others.
Always, always love your recipes, making this today! Thanks for the convection note in the directions!
Hope you loved it, Paula! Thanks for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂