If cooking had an Academy Awards, zucchini would be Hey! It’s That Guy – the reliable character actor with the muscular chops to play anything but not enough ego to be a star.
Now that zucchini and I have
been together for many seasons, I’m beginning to love it for the strong ensemble player it is. Zucchini and I relate, it’s backstory and journey mirroring my own,(as does its affinity for Mediterranean spices and heaps of butterfat.)
Ricotta Cheese is beautiful and alluring just being itself. It needs a strong partner to keep from over-acting.
The following dish is a cold-reading dialogue between ricotta and zucchini Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before.
The grilled zucchini slices are the Wise Gay Neighbor whose strong reflective acting holds down all the scenes where the Kooky Free-Spirited Heroine exposits about love.
Together, Fresh Ricotta and Good Old Zucchini make an Oscar Night oven meal that is cheap, filling, and delicious. Also, it is kitchen-tested to be easy enough to put together even after the champagne gets popped.
5 Minute Fresh Ricotta Cheese
from Serious Eats – The Food Lab, (edited- we suggest reading through the whole article- it’s great.)
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar or lemon juice
Combine milk, salt, and vinegar or lemon juice in microwave-safe glass 1-quart liquid measure. Microwave on high heat until lightly bubbling around edges, 2 to 4 minutes
Using slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer curds to prepared colander, cover exposed top with plastic wrap, and allow to drain until desired texture is reached. (‘Resist any temptation to poke the curds’)
Yes, I KNOW it’s amazing.
But we didn’t forget the zucchini.
For this zucchini lasagne, I just sliced some zucchini lengthwise, grilled in a dry skillet for a few minutes each side, and layered in a casserole with soy crumbles, organic diced tomatoes, parmesean, and of course, the ricotta.
Bake in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
If you want a more comprehensive recipe, this one is the best I’ve used.
Just for fun – 25 Famous Oscar Snubs
originally published Feb. 27, 2011