It would seem irresponsible to be a food blogger and not give you uses for all that zucchini and summer squash that starts crowding farmer’s market tables and CSA pick-ups come July. These delicate vegetables are ones that need to be used sooner rather than later. This makes a perfect appetizer, certainly works for dinner and basically tastes like sun-kissed goodness anytime you choose to make it. The ingredients are simple; this is definitely an example of the sum being greater than its parts.
1 garlic clove
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 – 1/3 cup basil ribbons + more to garnish
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 large zucchini, diced (4 – 5 cups)
sea salt and pepper
1 c. yellow or orange cherry tomatoes – the sweetest you can get at the market!
2 shallots, finely diced
Preheat oven to 475 F degrees. Start by dicing your zucchini (or summer squash). You’ll want to toss it on a baking sheet with a small drizzle of olive oil and a few grinds of fresh sea salt and pepper. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, so edges start to get brown and a little crispy.
Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, lemon juice and basil ribbons together with sea salt and pepper to your preference. Dice the cherry tomatoes so they are similar in size to the zucchini, and put in a bowl. Finely dice the shallots and add to the tomatoes.
If you have a toaster oven, you can slice your baguette about 1/2 inch thick and toast it in there. If not, wait until the zucchini is done and lower the oven to 300 F. Set the zucchini aside to cool and place your baguette slices on the pan. Let them toast for a few minutes, until the top is just starting to get slightly crispy to the touch. Remove from the oven. Peel your clove of garlic and cut in half.
As soon as you are able to handle the baguette slices, rub an open side of the garlic on the bread. You should smell the delicious aroma as you do this!