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Zucchini Involtini with Almond Ricotta

Zucchini involtini with almond ricotta is a rustic, beautiful, and delicious main course that's naturally vegan and grain-free.
Cuisine Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Italian, Paleo, Plant-Based, Special Diets, Sugar-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword all seasons, Almonds, basil, chili, chili flakes, fall, garlic, garlic powder, herbs, lemon, marinara, miso, nutritional yeast, olive oil, onion powder, spring, summer, winter, zucchini
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (with sides)

Ingredients

Almond Ricotta

  • 1 cup sliced almonds, soaked for at least 1 hour
  • ¼ cup hot water, plus extra
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons light miso
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely sliced

Zucchini Involtini

  • 2 large zucchinis
  • olive oil (to coat/cook zucchini)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups prepared marinara sauce, plus extra
  • chili flakes
  • chopped fresh basil
  • vegan “parm”, for serving

Instructions

  • Make the almond ricotta. First, drain the almonds. Then, in a food processor, combine the drained almonds, hot water, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, miso, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Run the motor until you have a smooth, ricotta-like texture, scraping the sides down a couple times. Add more water if necessary. Stir in the basil and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Using a mandolin slicer or a very sharp knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise so that you get nice, even noodle-like slices that are still sturdy enough to go on a grill. You’ll need 16-20 total. Transfer slices to a large bowl and toss with enough olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat.
  • Preheat a grill over medium-high. Lay the slices of zucchini out over the grates and grill until light char marks are visible. Flip the zucchini over and cook until the other side is charred as well. Remove the grilled zucchini from the grill and place on a plate.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the marinara sauce into an 8 to 9-inch round dish.
  • Set up an assembly line with the grilled zucchini, almond ricotta, an empty dinner plate and the dish with the marinara.
  • Take one slice of grilled zucchini and lay it out on the dinner plate. Place 1 even tablespoon of the ricotta at the wider base of the zucchini. Carefully roll it up, ensuring that the ricotta doesn’t squeeze out the sides. Carefully place the rolled zucchini in the dish with the marinara. Repeat with the remaining zucchini and almond ricotta.
  • Once the dish is full and you’ve gone through all of your prep, cover the top of the dish with foil. Bake the zucchini involtini until warmed all the way through, about 25 minutes. Serve zucchini involtini with extra warmed marinara, chili flakes, chopped basil, and almond “parm.”

Notes

  • I grilled my zucchini slices, but you could also just give them a quick sear in an oiled skillet over medium heat. You just want to soften them up a bit and get a bit of colour on the edges
  • The best tool for slicing uniformly thin zucchini is a Benriner mandolin. I’ve had mine forever and it continues to be one of my most used kitchen tools. A sharp Y-peeler is also great!
  • I went the convenience route and used jarred marinara. Use any recipe that you love if you want to DIY.
  • Sprinkles of almond-based “parm” are ideal here! I have a recipe posted here.