Festive bites 1/2: cottage cheese filled courgette rolls

We’re nearing the end of a long, festive month! At our place, we usually fill the table for festive gatherings with a variation of small vegetarian dishes to suit everyone’s liking. To keep myself calm during the organisation process, this year I’ve fallen back on trusted recipes from chefs who never let me down (say, Ottolenghi, Alice Hart, Anna Jones….) and on a few firm family favourites. The festive bites that make everyone in my family happy, are fresh and savoury vegetable dishes. They taste amazing and they can almost completely be prepared ahead, which allows me to spend time with my guests on the night itself.

In these two consecutive posts you’ll find the recipes of two festive bites: herby stuffed chestnut mushrooms in the next post and below in this one griddled courgette rolls filled with cottage cheese, herbs and toasted pine nuts.

I wish you all a happy and relaxed start of the new year!


Cottage cheese filled courgette rolls – makes about 20


  • 400 g cottage cheese
  • 60 g pine nuts
  • 2 courgettes, preferably long, straight and thin ones
  • 10 g basil, chopped
  • 10 g parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • balsamic vinegar to drizzle, optional



Spoon the cottage cheese into a sieve. Put it over a bowl and leave to drain in the fridge, for a few hours or overnight.

Put the pine nuts into a dry frying pan. Toast them for a few minutes over a moderate heat, shaking the pan regularly, until the kernels are lightly browned all over. Tip them into a bowl and leave to cool.

Trim the ends off the courgettes. Using a mandoline, a vegetable peeler or just a sharp knife and a steady hand, cut the courgette lengthwise into 5 mm thin strips.

Heat a griddle pan until really hot. Thinly brush the courgette strips with oil. In batches, griddle the courgette slices for about a minute on each side, until they are tender and nicely striped. Leave the slices to cool. At this stage you can cover them and keep them in the fridge until using the next day.

Mix the drained cottage cheese with the herbs and toasted pine nuts and season to taste. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the cottage cheese onto the end of each courgette strip and roll up the slices. Serve them as they are, or drizzled with some balsamic vinegar.