Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Bacon and Cheese

Two of my best friends are vegetarian and every time I'm researching recipes or even rewriting some of my old ones, I think of them. My mom was a big veggie lover too. I wasn't when I was little. I began to really crave them after I grew up. And of course when I started cooking for just myself, I experimented a lot more with different spices and sauces to spruce them up. I did some research on zucchini and here's what I found:
  • "Zucchini, when used for food, is usually picked when under 20 cm (8 in.) in length, when the seeds are still soft and immature. Mature zucchini can be as much as three feet long, but the larger ones are often fibrous and with the flowers attached are a sign of a truly fresh and immature fruit.
  • Unlike cucumber, zucchini is usually served cooked. It can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques, including steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, barbecued, fried, or incorporated in other recipes such as souffl├ęs. It also can be baked into a bread similar to banana bread or incorporated into a cake mix. Its flowers can be eaten stuffed and are a delicacy when deep fried, as tempura.
  • Zucchini has a delicate flavor and requires little more than quick cooking with butter or olive oil, with or without fresh herbs. The skin is left in place. Quick cooking of barely wet zucchini in oil or butter allows the fruit to partially boil and steam, with the juices concentrated in the final moments of frying when the water has gone, prior to serving. Zucchini can also be eaten raw, sliced or shredded in a cold salad, as well as lightly cooked in hot salads, as in Thai or Vietnamese recipes. Mature (larger sized) zucchini, while not often eaten by themselves, are well suited for cooking in breads. Zucchini typically should be stored no longer than three days. They are prone to chilling damage which shows as sunken pits in the surface of the fruit, especially when brought up to room temperature after cool storage." - excerpt from

Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Bacon and Cheese
1 very large or 3 small zucchini 
8-10 bacon rashes
olive oil 
kosher salt, to taste 
freshly ground black pepper 
3-1/2 oz herbed goat cheese

Preheat grill to high heat. Slice a strip lengthwise from the zucchini to expose the inside of the vegetable. Discard or reserve for another use. Cut the 2 ends from the zucchini to make straight edges. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips.

Brush both sides of the zucchini pieces liberally with olive oil. Season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the zucchini pieces on the grill at a 45-degree angle (for more attractive grill marks). Cook until the zucchini is very tender, but not mushy, about 3 minutes per side, moving the pieces during cooking to ensure even browning.

Remove zucchini from the grill. Set a wire cooling rack on top of a bowl to give the cooling rack extra clearance from the counter. Drape the zucchini pieces on the rack to cool. This method will stop the zucchini from steaming will cooling.

In a pan, cook the bacon rashes for a few minutes. Place goat cheese in a medium bowl and stir it. Add a strip of bacon over the zucchini, spread a layer of the goat cheese mixture onto one side of each zucchini piece. Gently roll each piece of zucchini. Serve. Makes 8 to 10 rolls.

And... I've got another zucchini recipe:


Zucchini Cranberry Bread
adapted from Pillsbury
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shredded unpeeled zucchini (1 small)
1/3 c. skim milk
1 tbsp. oil
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries
1 tbsp. sugar, if desired

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, zucchini, milk, oil and egg and mix well.

Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and dried cranberries. Mix just until combined. Pour into sprayed pan; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 400°F. for 12 to 19 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Cut into slices. Serve warm. ENJOY!