Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Roasted Zucchini with Ricotta and Mint

Best way to eat zucchini, ever!  Though I can't quite convince my kids or highly squash adverse husband to try it.  But, will be begging that neighbor or friend with an extra bushel of zucchini from the backyard for any stragglers after trying this out.  The recipe came from this month's Food and Wine Magazine and was created by Sheamus Feeley.  

Now, I had the zucchini in the fridge (thanks, friend with bountiful garden!) and decided to make a half order of this spur of the moment, which means I did not have the ricotta cheese on hand.  And you know what?  It is still really, really good without it.  But the lemon at the end is essential.  And the mint adds a certain depth.  You can eat it as a side dish or spoon it over pasta or rice.  Or you can scrape it off the foil and shove it into your mouth...whatever makes you happiest.



8 medium zucchini (3 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher 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, lined with foil. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for about 18 minutes, until the zucchini are browned around the edges. 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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Peach Crisp

I am lucky enough to have a generous friend with a great big old peach tree in his backyard and after realizing that I would never finish off the big bowl full of fruit he gave me, I decided to make a fantastic peach crisp.  Minimal effort, big effect.  I had some raspberries that were getting a bit mushy/ugly, so I threw those in as well.  My dinner guest was kind enough to stop at the market for vanilla ice cream which was just the finishing touch for a perfect summer dessert (even if it was 63 degrees outside by the time we sat down to eat it on the front deck.)

This recipe, by Paul Virant, came from Food and Wine Magazine




1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt


3 pounds peaches
1/4 cup cornstarch
Ice cream, for serving (optional)


  • In a food processor, combine the flour, sugars, oats, butter and salt and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.   
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches and blanch for 1 minute to loosen their skins. Transfer the peaches to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and cut the peaches into 1/2-inch dice. Transfer the peaches to a large bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch. Toss well to coat and let stand for a few minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and sugar a souffle or baking dish. Then spoon the peaches into said dish and sprinkle with the topping. 
  • Bake the crisps for about 1 hour, until the filling is bubbling. Remove the souffle dish from the oven and increase the temperature to 400°. Bake  on the upper rack for about 8 minutes, until the topping is browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream, if desired.