Let’s throw down some of our harvest bounty with this grilled zucchini with feta and mint recipe that came together last minute, as I had a bunch of random ingredients and nothing to go with some chicken patties that I had planned for dinner. I had a zuke sitting on my counter from the farmer’s market, and some feta that was going to go bad if I didn’t use it up. And voilà (queue my French accent right there), a new fav is born. It has a hint of the Mediterranean with its minty flavor.
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Delicious Grilled Zucchini with Feta and Mint Recipe
As much as I hate broccoli, I love zucchini. Partly because I can grow an abundance of this vegetable, partly because it’s so versatile, partly because it’s so healthy. And zucchini is just yummy. So I love to create recipes that feature this star ingredient, especially if the zucchini is grilled. (That’s means The Husband does some of the cooking!)
The Stars of the Dish: Main Ingredients and Their Magic
A summer squash, zucchini, also known as courgette, traces its origins back to Mesoamerica, though the version we know today was cultivated in parts of Italy in the late 19th century.
Low in calories but high in dietary fiber, vitamins C and B, potassium, and antioxidants.
This super star veggie brings a fresh, subtle taste that serves as the perfect canvas for the bold flavors of feta and mint. If you’re going gluten-free, zucchini is a great alternative to many grain-based foods.
While available year-round in many places, zucchini’s peak season is during the summer months.
This brined cheese has its roots in Ancient Greece. Feta, derived from the Italian word ‘fetta’ meaning ‘slice’, has been a part of Greek cuisine for thousands of years. The cheese is traditionally made with sheep’s milk, though today’s variations might include goat’s milk.
A good source of protein, calcium, and beneficial fatty acids. Plus, it’s easier to digest due to its lower lactose content.
Briny, tangy, and rich, it adds a depth of flavor that’s simply irresistible. I love feta in my salad (when I’m mostly trying to convince myself that I’m eating “Mediterranean” healthy.) For those who are dairy-free, you can experiment with tofu feta or other plant-based alternatives that offer that signature tang.
Although feta is available throughout the year, the cheese has a richer flavor when produced in the spring or early summer when the sheep have access to fresh pasture.
Mint has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for millennia. The ancient Greeks used to scent their bathwater with mint, and it has been found in Egyptian tombs from as far back as 1000 BC.
Known for promoting digestion, mint also offers vitamins, antioxidants, and a touch of anti-inflammatory properties. Peppermint is great for anyone who suffers from headaches!
Fresh mint leaves add a burst of coolness, making each bite refreshing. Mint of all kinds is also easy to grow. I have a pot outside with peppermint, which is what I used in this recipe.
While mint plants can thrive in various climates, the most vibrant flavors are achieved during its prime growth in the spring and early summer.
If you want a twist, try using basil or cilantro for a different aromatic experience.
While cream cheese, yogurt, and mayonnaise contribute to the creamy texture, olive oil offers a hint of richness. And of course, salt and black pepper for seasoning!
Pro Tips for a Perfect Dish Every Time
- Zucchini Prep: Before grilling, pat dry your zucchini slices to remove excess moisture. This helps in getting those perfect grill marks.
- Feta Selection: Opt for block feta instead of pre-crumbled. It’s creamier and integrates well with other ingredients.
- Mint Matters: Use freshly plucked mint. The fresher the mint, the more aromatic your dish will be. Mint is extremely easy to grow (sometimes invasive, which is why you should keep it in a pot). It even grows on a windowsill.
- Season Slowly: Always start with a pinch of salt and pepper, tasting and adjusting as you go.
- Filling Consistency: Aim for a consistency that’s spreadable but not runny to ensure it stays within the zucchini rolls.
Pair it Perfectly: What Goes Best with Zucchini Rolls?
These zucchini rolls pair beautifully with a glass of crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re more into non-alcoholic beverages, a cool mint iced tea would complement the dish perfectly. As for side dishes, consider a simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette or rustic garlic bread.
Keeping it Fresh: Storing Your Zucchini Rolls
Once prepared, store your zucchini rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They stay fresh for up to three days. For longer storage, consider freezing them, though fresh is always best. When ready to serve, a quick touch of olive oil and they’re ready to dazzle!
Note: The mint won’t freeze well, so keep that fresh pot on your windowsill handy.
Frequently Asked Questions: All You Need to Know
- Can I prepare them in advance? Absolutely, you can prepare them a day before your gathering.
- Can I use yellow squash instead of zucchini? Yes, though the flavor profile will be slightly different.
- Any vegan alternatives to feta? Definitely, tofu feta or cashew-based cheese can be great vegan alternatives.
- Can I skip the mayonnaise? Yes, you can use extra yogurt for creaminess.
- What’s the best way to grill zucchini? I enjoy on the outdoor, charcoal or gas grill. Although, you can do in the oven with a grill pan on medium heat.
- How thin should the zucchini slices be? Aim for about 1/8-inch thickness.
- Can I add other herbs? Yes, herbs like basil or parsley can add a different yet delightful flavor.
- How many does this recipe serve? This serves about 4-6, depending on the size of your zucchini.
- Can I serve them warm? They taste best when cooled, but you can serve them slightly warm.
- Any alternatives to cream cheese? Ricotta or mascarpone can be good substitutes, offering a creamy texture.
Add some of the feta mix.
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste
- fresh mint for garnish
- Grill zucchini slices until they have char marks. Set them aside to cool.
- In a bowl, combine cream cheese, feta, yogurt, and mayonnaise. Chop the fresh mint and mix it in. Season with salt and black pepper according to preference.
- Spread about a tablespoon of the filling mixture on each zucchini slice. Roll them tightly. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and a pinch of salt before serving.
- For a creamier texture, opt for block feta instead of pre-crumbled.
- Freshly plucked mint enhances the aromatic experience of the dish.
- If preparing in advance, store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Best consumed within 3 days.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 302Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 59mgSodium 461mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 7g
Nutritional values automatically generated.