Our Finished Zucchini Rolls, Rolls that are easy to prepare, prepare your appetite for this great vegetable!

Our Finished Zucchini Rolls, Rolls that are easy to prepare, prepare your appetite for this great vegetable recipe!

Try these Zucchini Rolls wood fired for special flavor! Click To Tweet

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Zucchini Rolls– For those of us who love to grow zucchini you know just how heavy a harvest you can end up with.   Then the question is: what to do with all those zucchinis?  Let me offer up a suggestion.  Zucchini ribbon rolls are a super easy way to make a quick appetizer or a great side dish.  In fact, if you don’t need the fanciness of the ribbons, you can modify this recipe which I’ll cover in this posting.  I’ll be taking the zucchini ribbons to the gas grill which I’ve equipped with wood chunks and provide a subtle smokiness to the zucchini before filling with a flavorful ricotta-basil-Parmesan mixture that easily could be smoked as well.  Pick out some of your larger zucchini and get ready to make a super appetizer or side dish with your harvest.

Become a Ribbon Maker

Making the Zucchini Ribbons

As you likely know, zucchini grows on a vine so when you start, you will find an end that has a growth nub and then a rounded bottom.  Both ends need to be trimmed after the entire zucchini has been washed and pat dry.

Although you can make the ribbons on a mandolin, I’ve elected to use a wide vegetable peeler.  I located the flattest portion of the zucchini and begin at the stem top down in one peel.  This will produce a ribbon of about 1-inch in width.  I continue peeling on this side until I begin seeing seeds.  I then rotate the zucchini and begin peeling on the opposite side.  You can produce as many ribbons as the zucchini will make until it begins to reach tender inner flesh that won’t support a single ribbon peel.

With the long ribbons of zucchini made, I lay them out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  I then brush each ribbon lightly with olive oil before placing on the grill.  Since my grill is set up for two zone cooking, the zucchini pan will go on the side with no direct heat meaning all burners on that side are off, while my wood chunks are smoking in the smoker box on the direct heat side.  These will only take about 12-15 minutes to flavor with smoke and they do not require any flipping.  Just a quick rotation of the pan about halfway through the cooking process.

Tasting Notes:

Remember, zucchini has a lot of water content which makes it ideal of attracting smoke vapor.  That means, you need to use hardwoods that are more mild or medium in boldness so the intensity of the smoke flavor is pleasant and not bitter.  I like maple, ash, alder, and cherry either alone or in combination.

A Creamy Filling for our Zucchini Rolls

Making the creamy filing

While the zucchini ribbons are cooking with wood flavor, I begin working on the filling for my ribbon rolls.  I start by placing 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese in a sieve over a bowl to remove any excess liquid.  Once transferred to a bowl, I work on chopping some fresh basil from my garden, until I end up with about 3 tablespoons worth.  I add that to the ricotta bowl along with 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic.  A drizzle of white truffle oil and some fresh ground pepper go in next.  Finally, about a ¼ cup of grated Parmesan is added and mixed in well.

Tasting Notes:

You can substitute many other fillings for the one I’ve included.  Other ingredients that would work well include goat cheese, chives with some chopped nuts for crunch.  Even a dried fruit like cranberry or golden raisins would be a great addition. 

Time to Roll

Zucchini Ribbons on the grill with wood chunks using a two zone cooking technique

With our filling well mixed, it’s time to return to the grill and remove our ribbons in preparation for filling.  If the ribbons are still oily, simply take a paper towel and wipe the residual oil away.  You don’t want the ribbons too wet or they won’t hold up when placed back on the grill.  Working with a single ribbon at a time, lay a generous dab of the filling in the center of the ribbon and spread to within ½ inch of each end.  Starting on one end, gently roll the zucchini ribbon until you have a small spiraled log.  Place on a parchment lined sheet pan leaving 1-inch spacing between rolls.  Continue with the rest of the ribbons until all are filled.  Then return the pan to the grill just to heat the filling up.

I will tell you that you can grill smoke the ribbons to the consistency you prefer you just need to ensure that they stay flexible enough to roll.  It is sometimes beneficial to dry these out a bit more before grilling so making the ribbons a day ahead of the actual grill-smoking is helpful.  Once tender and warmed inside, remove from the grill and serve.  I prefer to place mine on a base of vodka sauce with some fresh basil leaves.  These are slightly smoky, creamy and easy to eat.  They can be served easily as an appetizer or a side dish to your choice of animal protein.  I like these served with a rich short rib or a nice flaky fish like snapper or sea bass.  Oh, and don’t forget about that leftover zucchini you’ll have after you’ve made the ribbons.  I like to matchstick cut my leftover zucchini and add the remaining cheese filling with a bit of sauce and make this for another side dish or healthy lunch.

What’s your favorite zucchini recipe from the grill?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

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SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to Zucchini rolls and other great vegetable dishes to wood fire!

For more reading related to Zucchini rolls and other great vegetable dishes to wood fire!

More recipes to try:

-SMOKED AVOCADO LOAF FROM OUR AVOCADO RECIPES

-PAN COOK ZUCCHINI ON THE GRILL WITH WOOD FLAVOR

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

 

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Prepare your appetite for the Ricotta filled, tomato sauced, Zucchini rolls with a touch of wood fired flavor

This avacado recipe features melted cheese stuffed avacado inside Turkey, wrapped with Zucchini strips.!

This Avocado recipe features melted cheese stuffed avocado inside Turkey, wrapped with Zucchini strips.!

This Avocado Recipe is double stuffed for Yummy Flavor! Click To Tweet

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I love taking a basic recipe and being able to offer variations to that recipe which allows the cook to customize for those being served.  That’s why I refer to this recipe as the Versatile Smoked Avocado Loaf since you will have options in the ground meat or poultry used to surround the cheese filled avocado as well as the cheese and outer covering to the loaf.  This is referred to as a meat wrapped, stuffed avocado recipe.

I’ll walk you through my version which uses Jalapeno cheese, ground turkey, and zucchini ribbons all with whole avocado.  We’ll be smoking these mini loaves of goodness on the charcoal grill using a two-zone cooking set up.  Use my ingredients or customize for your own taste.  Either way – let’s get started.

simple ingredients, avacado, ground Turkey, jalapeno cheese and a zucchini

#meatwrappedavocado recipe

Avocado & Meat Prep

The ingredients I’m using today include 2 lbs. of ground turkey, 4 whole avocado, 1 medium zucchini, and 4 ounces of Jalapeno cheese.  To start, I make zucchini ribbons using a vegetable peeler on the length of the zucchini.  I wrap the zucchini ribbons in a paper towel as zucchini is loaded with water requiring this to dry out a bit before wrapping around our finished loaves.  Time to prep the avocados.

Start by cutting around the circumference of the avocado from stem top to bottom using a sharp paring knife.  Don’t cut into the avocado meat just into the hard, green skin.  Then twist the halves in opposite directions to separate the two halves.  One half will hold the pit of the avocado.  You can easily remove that by hitting the pit with the blade of a sharp knife then pull up which will remove the whole pit in one swipe.  Remove the skin on both halves of the avocado, leaving the avocado meat intact.

Our avacado split in half

#stuffedavocado

Avocado recipe Tasting Notes: Other options for wrapping the loaves include ribbons made of beets, carrot, leek, or eggplant.  You can also wrap these in bacon strips if you don’t mind additional fat and sodium levels.

Assembling the Loaves

With the avocados pitted and skinned, it’s time to stuff them with our jalapeno cheese.  Cut a cube of cheese that will fit perfectly into the pit hole of one half of the avocado.  Place the matching half of the avocado on top to make the avocado whole again.  Now it’s time to season the ground turkey.  Taking about 2 lbs. of ground turkey I add 2 tablespoons of Chinese Five Spice which is a premixed combination of anise, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger.  I also add 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon chopped mint, and fresh ground pepper.  Mix together well as this seasoned meat will become the wrapping around the avocados.

With the avocados filled with cheese and the ground meat seasoned, it’s now time to wrap the avocado in the meat.  I’ll be making four avocado loaves so I divide the meat into four parts.  Flattening the meat into pancake size, I place one filled avocado in the center of the meat and begin to wrap the meat around the avocado, pressing to fill any holes.  You want the meat to cover the entire avocado in an equal thickness.  Once wrapped, it’s time to apply the zucchini ribbons around the meat.  I’m using zucchini as it has a high water content which will result in extra attraction of the smoke vapor to the finished loaf.  smoke vapor seeks out moisture! Click To Tweet  Simply lay the zucchini ribbons one at a time around the meat loaf, overlapping as you go.

turkey wrapped avacado, now applying the zucchini outter wrap to hold everything together for grilling

Avocado recipe-Tasting Notes:

Avocado and cheese go together so well which gives you so many options for the cheese filling.  There is no limit to the type of cheese you can use just know block cheese rather than shredded or a spread is best.  When it comes to the ground meat, feel free to use any type you prefer: beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, veal.  You can also use a ground fish but may find you need to add a binder like panko bread crumbs to keep it from falling off the avocado.

 Two-Zone Charcoal Smoking

grill demonstrating our two zone charcoal grill set up with wood chunks

#twozonecooking

While I’ve been preparing the meat wrapped stuffed avocados, I’ve had my charcoal grill lit using a two-zone cooking method.  Since there isn’t a lot of meat on each of these loaves, I don’t need direct heat to cook.  I’ve placed my hot coals on one side of the grill and added about four SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks.  On the unlit side of the grill, I’ve placed a disposable pan to act as a drip pan under the grill grate.  I place my four turkey avocado loaves on the unlit side of the grill grate and allow them to cook for about 45 minutes.  At that time marker, I brush the loaves with a sweet chili sauce and allow to cook for about 15 additional minutes.

After cooking for nearly an hour on a charcoal grill set up with a two-zone cooking method, these turkey wrapped stuffed avocado loaves are perfectly smoked and flavored.  Each loaf can easily feed two or one hearty eater!  With the creaminess of the avocado, the heat of the melted jalapeno cheese, the spiced turkey meat, plus subtle flavors of the zucchini and chili sauce, this is the perfect smoked protein that can be cooked quickly. Click To Tweet There are so many variations that can be done to this stuffed avocado which truly can make this your own creation!

Avocado recipe-Tasting Notes:  

Any equipment can be used for this recipe to add the smoke flavoring.  Just know, you need to use a two-zone cooking method for charcoal grilling, gas grill cooking with wood, or electric smoking.  If using a portable grill, try to grill over hot coals over rather than direct flame.  If using a stove top smoker or plancha, you’ll obviously cook direct method.  And of course, you can always make this recipe without the added flavor of smoke in the traditional oven.

our finished avacado stuffed turkey loaf!

#stuffedavocado wrap

 

 

 

What’s your favorite ingredients for this meat wrapped, stuffed avocado?  Leave us a comment and subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor.  That’s SmokinLicious®.

 

SmokinLicious® products for this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to- avocado recipe and other grilling techniques

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-AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING

-SUCCULENT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

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Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- This avocado recipe features a cheese stuffed avocado wrapped in Turkey! YUM

 

 

The finished slices of our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

The finished slices of our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

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Listen to The finished slices of our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

I love making traditional baking items on the grill especially when wood is added for a kick of flavor that can make some normal recipes totally unique.  That’s how I feel about this recipe for zucchini-coconut-lime bread/cake.  It has to have two names as I’m giving you two finishes so you have something more savory like a bread and something sweet like a dessert.  Don’t ignore large, fresh zucchini that you see in your garden or farmer’s market or even the local store.  Pick up a beauty and come to the grill with me for this great two loaf recipe.

Two Bowls & One Grill

There’s minimal preparation that needs to be done for this bread/cake combination.  One thing I love about zucchini bread/cake is there’s nothing complicated about it.

two batter pans on the grill for baking

To start, head out to the grill and light the burners on only half the grill.  On the lit side, place wood chunks directly on the heat shields or burner covers.  This will produce that fantastic wood vapor that is going to super flavor our bread/cake.  I’ve set my burners to medium which should bring them to 325°F, the perfect temperature to bring these two loaves to the finish.  For the loaf pans, simply spray with non-stick cooking spray or butter generously.  Now, let’s get the batter made.

Tasting Notes: If you’re leery about putting wood pieces directly on your heat shields than you can use a metal smoker box to hold the wood.  Try to get one that will still fit between your grill grate and the heat shield, otherwise, you’ll have to put the box on the grill grate which will take longer to heat up and start the wood smoking.

The Double Duty Batter

To start our batter, get a large bowl to combine the dry ingredients first.  Add 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut.   Combine well and set aside.  Next, we’ll prepare the wet ingredients.

In a medium bowl combine 2 cups of raw, unpeeled, grated zucchini, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, ¾ cup oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 beaten eggs, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 2 teaspoons lime zest.  This batter will be quite thick.  Here’s a trick with the zucchini: be sure once you grate the zucchini you place it between paper towels and remove the excess water.  If you leave the excess moisture, the batter will become watery and affect how the bread/cake rises.

Mixing the ingredients

 

 

With the dry and wet ingredients made, it’s time to combine them.  Place the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well by hand.  Divide the batter in half and pour into the prepared loaf pans.  Place the filled loaf pans on the unlit side of the grill and c

lose the lid.  This batter will take 75 minutes to cook so I check the cake about ½ way through and rotate the pans.  I also make sure the wood chunks are still producing smoke.  If not, I add new wood.  Once cooked, I remove the pans from the grill and cool on wire racks.

Tasting Notes: Whenever you bake on the grill, it is important to use a two-zone cooking method rather than direct heat cooking.  This will reduce the risk of burning the batter or producing off flavors, especially if you use a charcoal grill.  This recipe can be altered to fit your taste.  If you don’t like coconut but still want something sweet, feel free to swap out the cup of coconut for chocolate or butterscotch chips. 

When a Bread Becomes Cake

Once cooled, I remove the loaves from the pans and place on a serving platter.  I take 1/3 cup of flaked coconut and toast in the oven or on the grill until lightly browned.  Time to make a glaze that will sweeten up this loaf some more, turning one loaf into a cake.

close up of the finished loaves on the grill

For the glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of lime juice.   Using a fork, I drizzle the glaze over the loaf in a rapid side-to-side motion.  While the glaze is still wet, I sprinkle on the toasted coconut and additional lime zest.  That’s it!  Now you can sample both loaves and decide which is your favorite.  As a bread or a sweet cake.

 

 

 

Tasting Notes:  If you prefer a lemon flavor you can swap out the lime juice for lemon and the lime zest for lemon zest.  Orange works well too!

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Related reading:

-CHOCOLATE WAR CAKE BAKED ON THE GRILL

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

 

Dr. Smoke great dessert recipe- our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

Dr. Smoke great dessert recipe- our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

Try our pan cook zucchini on the gas grill with wood chunks for a flavoring twist

Try our pan cook zucchini on the gas grill with wood chunks for a flavoring twist

PAN COOK ZUCCHINI ON THE GRILL WITH WOOD FLAVOR

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It seems like when August rolls around, people start looking for something new to do with all that zucchini that you either have in your own garden or found at the fresh market.  I’ve got a one pan dish that is easy to construct with the best part being you can do the entire recipe on your LP/Gas grill.

Grab your prized zucchini and get to the grill and I’ll show you how easy this technique and recipe are for a great meal.

Zucchini Prep

Diced zucchini in a disposable pan ready for the two zone cooking method

Two zone cooking method!

Preparing the zucchini is very simple for this recipe as we want all the nutritional value of the skin as well.  After washing, patting dry, and trimming off the ends, cut 1-inch thick rounds and then cut each round into smaller pieces.  For the smaller rounds, you should get 4 pieces and the larger 9.  Place all the cut zucchini pieces into a disposable foil pan.  There’s no need to spray the pan or add any liquid as zucchini has a 95% water content and when cooked, produces 6 oz. of water per every cup.  This will naturally steam away while in our grill pan while tenderizing the zucchini for our dish.  Plus, the high-water level will attract the smoke vapor for great flavor.

The grill set up is the easiest part.  Simply lite the burners on only half the grill.  Place wood chunks either directly on the heat shields located under the grill grate or in a smoker box placed on top of the grill grate of the lit burners.  Allow to heat up for about 10 minutes.  Then place the pan of cut zucchini on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid.

Tasting Notes: You do have an option to slice your zucchini lengthwise into quarters and grill directly on the grate.  Know this will produce stronger wood flavoring to the finished product and you will still need to cut the zucchini down into bite-size pieces.

Ragout Ingredients

Although ragout in Italian traditional means a sauce made from root vegetables and fruits, I felt it was a suitable term for our tomato-jalapeno based sauce.  In addition to your zucchini, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups pasta sauce
  • Basil- 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 10 oz. tortellini
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan and Asiago cheese

After the zucchini has cooked for about 30 minutes, add the diced tomato and jalapeno.  Let that cook for 15 minutes and then add the pasta sauce, basil, oregano, parsley and garlic powder.

Tasting Notes: This can be a spicy dish so if you only like a mild kick add ¾ cup of ricotta cheese when the pasta sauce and herbs are added.

Finale

all our spices added to the pan

All this made in one pan!

The final step to our grilled zucchini with tomato pepper ragout is to add the tortellini.  You may wonder how tortellini will cook without any water.  Essentially, you only need a little liquid with heat to produce enough steam to cook the tortellini.  The best part is you won’t have any pasta that is soggy and unable to hold its form.

After adding about 10 ounces of tortellini – mine happens to be filled with spinach – the ¼ cup of shaved asiago and parmesan cheese are added.  Everything is mixed well and left on the grill until the tortellini are tender.  That’s it!  Everything completely made on the grill and absorbing the great wood flavor from our SmokinLicious® chunks.  This is a great starter recipe that you can easily modify to fit your taste.

Now you need to try to Pan Cook Zucchini on the gas grill with wood!

 

 

 

 

SmokinLicious products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

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Dr. Smoke-add great flavor when you Wood Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Dr. Smoke-pan cook zucchini on the gas grill for great flavoring.

 

Ember roasted zucchini & Ricotta Galette is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette

Ember fired zucchini & ricotta galette is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette

EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

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We are going French with a zucchini & ricotta galette that is simply out of this world.  With ember fired zucchini we previously cooked on our charcoal grill with straight wood, this is one recipe worth making any time of year.  Get 2 zucchini ember cooked and prepare yourself for the ultimate in wood fired flavors featuring summer zucchini!

Gather the Ingredients

For our zucchini & ricotta galette, there are two separate ingredient lists needed; one for the pastry and one for the galette’s filling.

For the pastry:

1-1/4 cups flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes

1/8 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

¼ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons lemon juice

¼ cup ice water

For the zucchini & ricotta galette filling, you will need

2 ember fired zucchini sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil

1 garlic glove, minced

Ricotta cheese- ½ cup

Grated Parmesan- ½ cup

Shredded mozzarella- ¼ cup

1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Egg Wash: 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water combined

Don’t Let the Word Pastry Scare You

Pastry is the first step and our recipe is very simple, so no need to get scared by the word “pastry”.  For the pastry dough, combine the flour, salt, and then cut in the butter. My technique is to use 2 butter knives to produce even mini chunks of butter.

Mix the sour cream, lemon, and water in a separate bowl, then add to the flour mixture until just combined.  Be sure not to overwork the dough.  Now refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cheesy, Creamy Goodness

While the dough chills, let’s get the filling ingredients ready that include our ember fired zucchini rounds.

First, we’ll need to combine the olive oil and garlic so we have an infused oil to add to our cheese filling.  Next, mix the ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses together.  Add one teaspoon of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper.  You can set this mixture aside as you wait on the dough to finish chilling.

Next up, get the rolling pin at the ready, as the dough will be rolled into the galette shape.

Perfect Balance Comes Together

With our dough chilled and then rolled into a 12-inch round, it’s time to start assembling our galette.  Place the dough on parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough leaving a 2-inch border.  The ember fired zucchini slices are next, which I add in a layered “wheel” formation, followed by a generous drizzle of garlic oil.  It’s important that everything stay even for our dough to fold over and hold in all that fabulous filling.

With the cheese filling, ember fired zucchini and garlic oil added, the final ingredient of fresh basil strips is placed on top.  Time to fold over the dough to trap all the filling inside the pastry while it cooks.  A brushing of egg wash to the pastry will ensure everything gets golden during the 40-minute cook time.  Into a 400° oven, setting the timer for 25 minutes to rotate the baking tray.  That will guarantee a consistent color to our galette.

So Good, You May Not Want to Share

With the smoky, char flavor of our coal fired zucchini, the creamy filling of 3 cheeses plus basil and garlic oil, it doesn’t get any better than this!  Our buttery galette pastry adds that sweet undertone that perfectly balances out the flavors.

Whether you serve this as an appetizer, snack or even a lunch or entrée, you’ll love how the zucchini becomes the star without tasting overly smoked.  Feel free to add a side of marinara sauce for an acid kick.

We would love to hear about your version of this recipe or even learn what you do with coal fired zucchini!  Leave a comment, like us, and subscribe, as we bring you recipes, tips, techniques, and science behind wood fired cooking technique.

Looking for more items to ember fire?  Take a look at these articles:

-Ember Roasted Garlic in a Skillet

-Ember Fired Sweet Pepper

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Ember roasted zucchini has a unique flavor and when you add Ricotta for a Galette. It is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette.”

Ember roasted zucchini has a unique flavor and when you add Ricotta for a Galette it is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette