Courgette and Ricotta Rolls with Red Pepper Coulis and Basil Oil

Courgette and Ricotta Rolls with Red Pepper Coulis and Basil Oil

These courgette and ricotta rolls make beautiful canapés on their own but can also be turned into a stylish vegetarian starter with the addition of a tasty sauce.

I made them as one course in a 5 course vegetarian feast for friends so the portions are quite small – feel free to scale them up if you are hungry.

The recipe might look a bit fiddly at first glance but it is really quite straight forward.  You could speed things up by buying ready roasted and peeled peppers and by using pesto instead of basil oil.

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the Courgette Rolls

3 small Courgettes

3-4 tbsp Olive Oil

3-4 tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar

250g Ricotta

Grated zest and juice of 1 Lemon

A handful of fresh Basil Leaves

50g Pine Nuts

For the Red Pepper Coulis

2 Red Peppers

2 tbsp Olive Oil

For the Basil Oil

A handful of fresh Basil Leaves

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6

For the Red Pepper Coulis (can be made in advance)

Put the whole peppers on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast in the hot oven for around 40 minutes until soft and beginning to collapse. The skin should be a little charred in places. Place the hot peppers into a glass bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Let them gently steam in their own heat and then leave until cool. This steaming process helps to loosen the skin.

Remove the peppers and cut each one in half. Remove the stalk and seeds (wiping with kitchen paper helps – don’t be tempted to rinse them as you will lose flavour).

Peel off the skin – this may require a little patience but it’s worth it. Blitz the peppers in a food processor or with a stick blender until smooth. Push the puree through a sieve to ensure that it is really smooth. Season with salt and pepper and blitz again with one tablespoon of the olive oil.

NB If you don’t want to go to the trouble of roasting your own peppers you can buy ready roasted, skinned peppers in jars. Just blend with a little olive oil.

For the Courgette Rolls

Trim the ends of the courgettes and cut them in half, lengthways. Use a vegetable peeler to slice long ribbons of courgette from the cut surfaces. You will need 12 ribbons in total (2 from each half). Save the rest of the courgette for soup or stock.

Pour the olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a large, flat dish and whisk to combine. Add the courgette strips in a single layer; make sure both sides of each strip are coated in the dressing then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for a minute or two and then set aside to cool. Roughly tear the basil leaves and stir into the ricotta along with the cooled pine nuts. Season with salt and black pepper then stir in lemon zest and juice to taste. Go easy – you can add more but you can’t take it out! Cover and leave in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the rolls.

For the Basil Oil

Grind the basil leaves and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until reduced to a smooth paste. Whisk in the olive oil.

To Assemble the Dish

Lift each courgette slice out of the dish allowing any excess dressing to drip off as you do so. Place on a flat surface. Put a generous teaspoon of the ricotta mixture onto one end of each strip and roll up.

Spoon red pepper coulis onto each plate and drizzle with the basil oil. Arrange 3 courgette rolls per person onto the coulis and serve at room temperature.

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2 thoughts on “Courgette and Ricotta Rolls with Red Pepper Coulis and Basil Oil

  1. How long should you marinate the zucchini in the fridge? Can it be made in advance, like the coulis, the day before? And is everything supposed to be served cold?

    • Hi Emma

      Sorry if this wasn’t clear. As the courgette marinates it softens a little and becomes easier to roll – they need at least half an hour. If you do this first the courgette will probably be ready by time you have made the pepper sauce. You can do it a little earlier if you want to. I haven’t tried to do it the day before but I suspect they might get a little slimy.

      And yes, everything is meant to be served cold. It’s a really refreshing dish on a summers evening.

      I hope that helps. Fiona x

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