I planted a second round of tomatoes in the garden last week. And while I was at it, I went ahead and stuck a new zucchini plant in.
Because this is the first year I haven’t wanted to wretch at the mere sound of “zucchini” before the 4th of July. I seriously cannot get enough of it. And I haven’t even made zucchini bread, the sure sign that Zucchini Fatigue has set in, once.
(Muffins are a different story. For next week.)
But this dish. Pure zucchini amazingness. I took my favorite summer side dish (that has already gotten the sandwich treatment plenty this summer) and gave it the Annie’s Eats sandwich treatment: served on some crusty ciabatta with a beautifully simple and creamy herbed ricotta.
I made my own ricotta. You don’t have to. But I highly recommend it. Because it takes like 20 minutes, a candy thermometer, and some $3 cheesecloth.
And your 4 year old will look at you with complete wide-eyed amazement because she just helped you make cheese. “Real cheese but it’s cheese that we eat with a spoon.” (And eat with a spoon she will until you take it away.)
Grilled Zucchini and Herbed Ricotta Sandwiches
Creamy herbed ricotta and grilled vegetables served on crusty, grilled ciabatta bread.
- 1 lb zucchini, sliced into 1/3-inch rounds
- 1 red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- 1/4 cup olive oil + more for spraying/brushing
- 1 1/2 cup ricotta
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3-4 large basil leaves, minced
- 1 lb loaf of ciabatta
- Heat grill to medium.
- Carefully thread the onion rounds onto skewers (this will keep them in tact as rounds while grilling), making sure the skewer goes through every onion ring.
- Brush onions and zucchini rounds with 1/4 cup olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Grill vegetables 9-10 minutes each side, until nicely caramelized.
- Cut the ciabatta loaf in half horizontally and lightly spray/brush with olive oil - transfer to the grill for 1-2 minutes until crisped.
- Stir the ricotta with the lemon juice and zest, garlic, and basil leaves in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread ricotta over the bottom half and top with zucchini and red onion slices.
- Spread any remaining ricotta on the top half of the bread, place on top, and then cut into serving sizes (smaller for appetizer; larger for entree).
Yields: Servings vary
Estimated time: 30 minutes