roasted zucchini with ricotta and mint

July 24, 2014 § 66 Comments

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Our weather has slipped back to clouds and rain.  I had two full days out in the garden this past weekend so really I don’t mind at all.  The cool temperature was like having the air conditioner on.  Why oh why did I allow two weekends to go by without tending the garden?   It took a good solid eight hours to catch up with the weeds and pruning!   I am not complaining, I am just sore from sitting in a squat position for hours. The yard looks magnificent and it’s time to sit down to a wonderful lunch of roasted zucchini with fresh ricotta and mint.

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I picked up a delicious fresh ricotta from my favorite Metropolitan Market and roasted two trays of 1/2 inch diced zucchini.

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You could grill the zucchini if your kitchen is too hot to turn on the oven.  Simply slice the zucchini into two long halves, brush with olive oil, grill and then dice into 1/2 inch pieces.   Recipe slightly adapted from Food & Wine.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 5 medium zucchini , diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh ricotta, for serving
  • Mint leaves, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450°. Spread the diced zucchini on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the zucchini are browned around the edges. Using a non stick skillet toast the cumin and fennel seeds until aromatic.  Crush the seeds.  You can either spin it quickly in a blender or hammer slightly in a sealable bag.  I used a coffee grinder I bought specifically for grinding seeds.  Sprinkle the zucchini with the crushed red pepper, cumin seeds and fennel seeds and roast until fragrant, about 2 minutes longer.
Transfer the zucchini to a bowl. Toss with the lemon juice and season with salt. Dollop the ricotta alongside the zucchini and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with the mint leaves and serve.

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§ 66 Responses to roasted zucchini with ricotta and mint

  • Valerie says:

    What a beautiful garden-fresh dish! Plans tonight include a lasagne with zucchini “noodles” and a ricotta sausage filling. I just might add some mint to the mix thanks to you!

    • Oh good! Hmmm, you are on to something here. I know I would thoroughly enjoy mint in your wonderful sounding lasagne. Love how you are using zucchini ribbons as noodles. I couldn’t believe how delicious the fresh ricotta was with zucchini. Off the charts.

  • sallybr says:

    Loved your method of dicing it small, making it faster to roast and definitely full of that deliciously intense golden surface… I would not turn my big oven for this at 450F, but my small, Breville would be perfect for a small batch of zucchini

    beautiful photos, as usual!

    • You are right. Surprisingly quick to roast and it caramelized perfectly. Our temps have dropped down to 65 for the past 7 days. No problem turning the oven on right now. You are smart to have a a little Breville oven!

  • Yum, this is amazing. Love all the flavors and I am a big fan of ricotta and zucchini!

  • as always, beautiful. hey, I would LOVE to see a photo of your garden. I have visions of what I think it looks like…. :)

    • You know, I have thought about taking photos of different settings in the the garden, and have even tried to take some shots outside of different foods I have prepared and oh my! horrible! (I use a point & click) I feel lucky every time I get a decent photo of anything I post! And really, to be honest the garden probably isn’t anywhere close to how you are imagining it! It is a never-ending work in progress… :)

      • k, well anytime I drive thru the U district and see those adorable vintage houses with the semi wild awesome gardens I imagine myself living there. That my friend is how I imagine your place, all sweet and vintage and full of awesome food . You should see my garden. It is the “freak” on the street. My kids call it a vegetation! dear god… lolol..:)

      • Lol! Freak on the street! That’s funny! And yes, semi wild and without a plan sort of sums it up. What I really need to do is get rid of that patch of grass out front and replace it with a “rain garden”! Divert those downspouts right to it…

      • grass is so highly over rated. I cringe at all the money and time people spend on that patch of green, not to mention the poison and crap they put on it. I am all for front yard gardens… I love ur idea of a rain garden… it is pouring buckets here…

      • Here too! Well, yesterday. It came down in buckets all day, non-stop!

  • Amanda says:

    This sounds heavenly. I didn’t realize you had such a big lovely garden. There is nothing better than fresh garden vegetables. They taste different. And fresh ricotta is seriously the best. Great addition of fresh mint too. This is so summery.

    • Hi Amanda. Interesting because growing up my dad always had a huge vegetable garden and here I am with more herbs than vegetables. I agree, there is nothing better than fresh garden vegetables. I didn’t grow the zucchini in this recipe. This year I only planted tomatoes in our garden boxes. We are establishing a bamboo “screen” on one side of our house and that is taking quite a bit of effort building barriers and whatnot. What a job! I feel like I just rediscovered fresh mint. I’m loving it right now…

  • another wonderful way to prepare summer’s bounty – zucchini. I love the addition of the ricotta cheese.

    • I’m really enjoying both zucchini and cucumbers right now. I never buy (or make) fresh ricotta and this dish really spiked my inspiration to use it more often. I can eat it with a spoon! (and I did)

  • Liz says:

    lol, seems we’re all talking about gardening this week! (in your case, a bit of neglect and in mine, complete lack of ) Love that you cut the zucchini so small–labor of love! Looks so delish :-)

    • Yeah…it’s gardening season isn’t it! From now on I’ll always cut the zucchini into little tiny squares-it caramelized so wonderfully and took no time at all in the oven. :)

  • Mary Frances says:

    This sounds like it has a great balance of flavors!

  • flippenblog says:

    Aaah thank you! This one will go on the save to make list!

  • cheri says:

    Love this garden to table dish, your presentation is wonderful. I love it when the weather is sunny and then rainy. The change is exhilarating!

    • This has been my favorite all time weather. You most likely are experiencing very similar patterns. I like to be able to wear jeans in the summer and be comfortable. And I love the rain to water the garden!

  • ladyredspecs says:

    Gorgeous flavour combo Seana, hint of spice, freshness of mint, the creamy ricotta. Yum!

  • Ngan R. says:

    Oh, great idea to join zucchini with mint and ricotta. I think I must be stuck in a rut because all I ever do is slice and grill or roast zucchini plain. I have to add this to the list to try for the hoards of zucchini I’m getting in my CSA right now. Photos are beautiful, as always, and the food is so appetizing!

    • Same with me Ngan. I usually put the zucchini on the grill and top it with a gremolata sauce (which is wonderful too). I never buy fresh ricotta so this was a very nice treat.

  • I love the idea of roasted zucchini and creamy, fresh ricotta!

  • nancyc says:

    I’ve never roasted zucchini, but it sounds so good!

    • Hope you give it a go Nancy. It is so quick and easy and very flavorful. Especially if you dice the zucchini into little squares like this. It caramelized very nicely. Thank you for stopping in. :)

  • That looks lovely, I love everything in the dish xx

  • This recipe is awesome, Seana :)

  • This looks like a lovely lunch idea for summer! Love the use of fennel seeds!

  • I love garden fresh dishes… and this one looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it :) Thanks for more delicious inspiration for the kitchen.

  • TasteFood says:

    This is such an appealing way to present summer zucchini. I confess I envy your rain – we could do with some cooling right now!

  • Huh, would never have thought of pairing courgette/zucchini with ricotta. Thanks for that. Admittedly it’s not often I buy ricotta. But I have been buying courgettes, and not really enjoying their soppiness – which surprised me. That’s pan-frying, not grilling nor roasting. Will have to try your version. As I used to really like them. And I do like fennel seeds. Maybe I could add fresh peas as well as those are in the shops right now. Will have to try this out over the weekend. :)

    • I never buy fresh ricotta, and I don’t know why, because it is so delicious! It seems dicing the zucchini into small pieces may cut out the soppiness you are talking about. I know very well what you mean. They caramelized wonderfully in the oven. Not sure about roasting fresh peas…have you? hmmm, maybe I’ll try that. It’s good to hear they available to you! I love fresh peas. Please give me your feedback if you get around to roasting the courgettes! :)

      • Well, I did. And it worked out really well. Won’t be bothering to pan-fry them anymore. Particularly as I’d planned on baking a dessert-type scone I’ve been developing. So it made even more sense to have the courgettes at base of oven (after transferring from a higher rack after the oven had preheated). Didn’t serve them with peas after all. Those fresh peas weren’t so fresh! Rock hard, more like it. And not at all sweet. But, with other salads, including potato salad, the courgettes really turned out an absolute treat! So did the scones – having more of those with stewed plums and blueberries, later. :)

      • Oh! I’m delighted you enjoyed roasted zucchini! I’m with you, I’ll never pan fry them again. I realized earlier that this was the first time I roasted them too. Nice to take care of two things in the oven at the same time. And I have to say a scone with stewed plums and blueberries sound perfect right about now. :)

  • Beautiful. Just effing fantastic. I love zucchini and I feel this would go very well in my belly! Smiley face

  • Conor Bofin says:

    Love that salad. Great idea.

  • Oh wow…Seana, this looks fabulous. I just received a gazillion zucchini in my CSA yesterday…and I’m so excited, because i really want to try this beautiful dish!
    You truly have that knack for putting flavors together.. I love that. Your culinary talent always awes me.. <3 Gorgeous photos..

  • Michelle says:

    One can never have too many zucchini recipes in high summer. Nice!

  • I’d love to see a photograph of your garden – especially while it’s looking magnificent! Oh and this recipe – I’ve never roasted zucchini – so interesting. Will absolutely give this a try. Up on the menu… you know the one. ;)

    • I do know the one! And this recipe will be the easiest one you have ever added to your chalkboard. :) And you just made me realize I had never roasted zucchini before this. It’s wonderful and I prefer it cooked this way than any other. You’ll love it.

  • ChgoJohn says:

    This is such a wonderful dish and roasting the zucchini is a great idea. My family never used mint, well, except in an occasional cocktail. Seeing dishes like yours here, I think I’ve been missing out. It sounds delicious.

    • Using mint in cooking is new to me John. And now I can’t stop. Especially combined with other herbs it’s wonderful. It helps to have a a nice mint patch growing wild at the side of the house. One of my favorites is a coarsely chopped mint pesto served with grilled lamb. :)

  • Zucchini and mint are born to be together, aren’t they? Love the addition of ricotta!

    • I am realizing more and more how wonderful mint is in many recipes. I find myself running out to clip a few sprigs quite often. I do think zucchini and mint are born to be together! :)

  • deliciouscityliving says:

    This looks so delicious. Will definitely be trying!

  • Saskia (1=2) says:

    Oh man that looks good Seana! Very cruel photos though as I’m facing a long night at work and am starving. Would never have thought to add fennel seeds to roasted zucchini – yum! I googled ‘crushed red pepper’ as it’s unavailable in Australia. Fairly certain it’s equivalent to our dried red chilli flakes (one of my favourite sprinkling spices).

  • Love adding in he ricotta for that extra richness–along with roasting the zucchini! the whole dish looks summer perfect,

  • Serena says:

    Zucchini and mint complement each other so well! And the ricotta gives a lovely delicate flavour and a creamy texture to the dish, so yummy!!!

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