Zucchini with Ricotta, Mint, and Basil

This may sound like a simple and not very exciting combination, but I practically live on it in the summer when my small patch of zucchini produces more vegetables than I can cope with. It’s also well behaved—you can make it earlier in the day to eat in the evening.–Diana Henry

LC Zucchini That's Well Behaved Note

We can expect nothing kinder from the gods of summertime abundance than zucchini that’s “well behaved,” as Diana Henry so poetically puts it in her preceding headnote. Nope. Nothing kinder. And if you find that the gods were a little too generous this season with the zucchini, albeit well behaved, may we suggest an after-supper slice of something sweet, say perhaps some zucchini bread?

Zucchini with Ricotta, Mint, and Basil Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 6 medium zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces ricotta salata cheese, fresh if possible, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cups pecorino cheese shavings
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves only
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves only
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  • 1. Have everything ready and on hand because you will layer the dish as you cook it.
  • 2. Cut the zucchini into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and cook the zucchini, in batches, until golden on each side and tender throughout. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper. Transfer the zucchini to a broad, shallow serving bowl and cook the next batch, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.
  • 3. When you have a layer of zucchini in the bowl, layer some ricotta, pecorino, and herbs on top, then add a good squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Continue like this until you’ve layered all the zucchini and finish with some herbs and shavings of pecorino and drizzle with a bit of extra- virgin olive oil. Serve while still warm or at room temperature.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Brenda C.] Okay, I could tell by reading this recipe that it’d be good. But I didn’t expect it to be great. In fact, it was so delicious we’re having it for dinner again tonight. Frying coins of zucchini, layering them with fresh ricotta salata, pecorino shavings, fresh mint, and basil, and then drizzling them with lemon juice and olive oil was such an eye-opener for me. This is officially at the top of my favorite-ways-to-use-zucchini list (and my list is lengthy). The cheeses melted into ooey gooey goodness, and the oil, lemon juice, and herbs? Oh my. We’ve the fortune of obtaining fresh ricotta and pecorino from our local cheese maker and both were so lovely here. Just imagine the flavors! Perhaps you think that those incredible ingredients would be a waste on ho-hum zucchini. Heck no. It’s not very often that dishes surprise me this much. This recipe really takes humble zucchini and elevates it to wow. When thinking about ways to improve it, I thought perhaps adding toasted pine nuts or capers would make it even more perfect but decided that it’s just great as is. It’s one of those recipes I had to call my mom about!

  2. Emily says:

    I love this recipe too, I make it all the time. I have Diana Henry’s book “Pure Simple Cooking” and it’s great. I love the flavors in this particular recipe. But I also love it because timing doesn’t really matter. I live alone and cook by myself. And I love recipes where I can chill out and drink a glass of wine or watch TV at the same time. And all the delays don’t hurt the recipe. :) Nothing really needs to be timed to be ready at the same time as anything else. I can get distracted and it’s still OK. Granted, it means sometimes I start at 6 and eat at 9. But that’s OK. :) Great recipe.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      We share your love of Diana Henry, Emily, as well as your passion for practical recipe such as you describe. Love to hear about similar “recipes” that you rely on regularly….

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