12 Delicious Ways to Use Up Your Summer Zucchini and Squash

zucchini ribbon carpaccio

If you still have an abundance of zucchini either from your own garden, family, friends or even total strangers, here’s a few ideas on how to use them up.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time then you should know I have a thing about vegetable ribbons of all sorts, many times I’ve used ribbons of carrot, cucumber, butternut squash, but especially zucchini and yellow squash in many of my recipes.  I love how they look in a salad and when presented on a platter, I think it adds a little touch of elegance.

The salad above doesn’t really have a recipe, it’s made with ribbons of zucchini and yellow squash, tossed together with arugula, shaved parmesan, basil, parsley and toasted hazelnuts, the dressing is fresh lemon and olive oil whisked together. I call it my Zucchini Ribbon Carpaccio because everything is raw but the lemon dressing helps to soften the rawness.

On to a few of my other favorites!zucchini rollups

Zucchini Roll Ups with Ricotta and Corn

zucchini whipped ricotta

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Whipped Ricotta

zucchini boats

Zucchini Boats with Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes

zucchini veggie slaw

Zucchini Veggie Slaw

zucchini burrata

Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Burrata

zucchini gratin

Zucchini Tomato Gratin

zucchini ribbon salad

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

zucchini roasted tomatoes

Zucchini Noodles with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cream

zucchini mock ravioli

My adaption from Half Baked Harvest, Three Cheese Ravioli

zucchini tart

Zucchini Tart

zucchini lasagne

Zucchini Lasagne

Enjoy the end of summers bounty, Labor Day is almost here and the fall season is right around the corner in my neck of the woods, which I’m actually looking forward to!

Check out my Instagram account to see what I’ll be cooking up in the new season ahead.

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Whipped Ricotta

zucchini ribbon salad

In a few short weeks zucchini will be in abundance everywhere in my neck of the woods and probably yours as well, so I want ed you to be prepared to make this lovely Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Whipped Ricotta, so keep this recipe near by.

I’ve always loved the look of shaved ruffled ribbons of zucchini they look so elegant when placed on a platter, this salad is so pretty to serve to your family and friends, I guarantee everyone will be impressed.

It’s simple to prepare, you can make it on a whim and when all the different elements are put together the taste is truely incredible!
zucchini ribbons

The contrast of colors between the green zucchini ribbons and the thinly sliced pink radishes makes it visually appealing and adds to the crunch factor. No need for any fancy gadgets to make this either, just a simple vegetable peeler will do the trick.whipped ricotta

 

But what really takes this dish over the top is the whipped ricotta, ricotta when blended in a food processor takes on a luxurious texture, it’s creamy and dreamy and then if it couldn’t get any better it gets infused with lemon zest, fresh herbs and parmesan cheese, it’s a magical combination.zucchini ribbon salad

Feel free to add some ribbons of yellow squash as well for even more color contrast, I often do that.
zucchini ribbon salad

 

The dressing is a simple lemon and olive oil dressing which compliments everything so well and it’s also topped off and finished with crunchy, toasted walnuts.

This salad screams summer, it’s fresh and light, bright and citrusy, filled with fresh herbs and crunch and it’s one of my absolute favorites on a hot summer day.

Start hording all the zucchini you can get so you can make this Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Whipped Ricotta.

Follow Proud Italian Cook on Instagram to see what I’m cooking up daily in my kitchen.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Whipped Ricotta
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 large zucchini or 2 plus 1 yellow squash, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 radishes shaved thin with a mandoline or finely cut with a knife
  • 2 large lemons, 1 for zest and the other for juice to use in the dressing, save a couple slices for garnish
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, try to purchase a dryer version verses a wet one you might find in liquid at a deli, the dryer the better
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil and parsley, finely chopped
  • toasted chopped walnuts
  • good olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • FOR THE LEMON AND OLIVE OIL DRESSING;
  • 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts olive oil, add some salt and pepper and whisk together
Instructions
  1. Place ricotta into a food processor bowl and process until it's light and creamy about thirty seconds or so, then fold in the parmesan cheese, lemon zest and roughly two tablespoons each of finely chopped parsley and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spread your ricotta mixture onto your favorite platter, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Make sure your ribbons are shaved as well as the radishes and are ready to go, toss them into a bowl adding some more chopped herbs then gently spoon some of the lemon and olive oil dressing all over tossing ever so lightly, being careful not to over soak the zucchini mixture, a little dressing goes a long way.
  4. Arrange the zucchini nicely on top of the whipped ricotta, leaving an edge so the ricotta shows.
  5. Sprinkle the toasted walnuts all over and arrange a few slices of lemon for garnish around the platter.
  6. Enjoy!

 

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Savory Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

zucchini ricotta cheesecake This savory zucchini cheesecake is perfect for this time of year when summer is winding down and zucchini is in abundance. This dish can be served for lunch, brunch or even a vegetarian option for dinner.

It’s made with three different kinds of cheese which you can vary according to your liking, plus it’s baked without a crust which gives it such a light and creamy result.

zucchini ricotta cheesecake

Along with the cheese you’ll taste a hint of garlic as well as the fresh taste of lemon throughout the filling, all of which compliments the zucchini so very well.

zucchini ricotta cheesecake ingredients I’ve made zucchini pies and tarts in the past usually dicing the vegetables, but for a little something different I sliced the zucchini lengthwise, I love how it looks when it’s finished baking!

zucchini ricotta cheesecake It’s very easy, just stick your slices in any which way you please.

zucchini ricotta cheesecake

You can’t go go wrong, it always comes out nice and pretty.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Savory Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 9 inch pan, either a tart pan, pie plate or even a springform pan, it doesn't matter as long as you brush it well with olive oil so nothing sticks
  • 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise with a knife, not too thin or it will disapear in the ricotta, thick enough so it still can bend a bit, leaving the skin on so you can see the green sticking up from the ricotta, don't bury it.
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup, Pecorino Romano
  • ½ cup of grated mozzarella plus a little more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 garlic clove minced finely
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon each of chopped parsley and basil
  • olive oil for brushing and drizzling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Oil your pan well on the bottom and sides so nothing will stick.
  3. In a bowl add all ingredients and mix well until all is combined.
  4. Place mixture into your prepared pan.
  5. Take your zucchini slices and arrange them into the ricotta, you might have some leftover slices depending on how big your zucchini is.
  6. Place pan onto a rimmed baking sheet for easy in and out of the oven.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes then take it out and sprinkle more shredded mozzarella on top, it will give it a nice golden brown color.
  8. Place bake into the oven and bake for 15 to 30 more minutes, ovens and moisture in the ricotta will vary, just continue baking until golden on top and the ricotta is set, check it with the tip of a knife in the center to see if it comes out clean.
  9. Let it cool down to room temperature before cutting into it.
  10. Drizzle a little olive oil on top before serving.

 

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Hasselback Zucchini

hasselback zucchini Hasselback zucchini, who would have thought? It’s a brilliant idea and such a fun and delicious way to cook up your summer squash. It’s sliced in the hasselback fashion just like we’ve seen it done to potatoes, only minus the carbs. I recently featured this on my Instagram account but for those who haven’t seen it there, I thought I’d share it here on my blog.

hasselback zucchini Slice your zucchini accordion style being very careful not to cut all the way through, you don’t want it to break apart, you just want to be able to fan out nicely. There’s a very good technique using chopsticks on each side of the zucchini while you’re slicing it which will prevent that from happening, check out YouTube for a visual, it’s very easy and works well.

hasselback zucchini Once it’s cut, gently fan out the slices and stuff some cheese in there, I used slices of asiago cheese but just remember the slices have to be thin, there’s not much room to stick thick pieces into the slots, also try to use a semi-hard cheese, nothing too soft.

hasselback zucchini After you stuff each slice, place the zucchini onto a parchment lined baking sheet then drizzle them with olive oil, some salt and pepper and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

hasselback zucchini Place your hasselback zucchini into a hot 400 degree oven and roast until the cheese melts and the zucchini is tender but not mushy.

hasselback zucchini You could stop right at this point and enjoy it as is, and believe me it’s very good, but……

hasselback zucchini You might want to bathe them in some warm marinara sauce like I did, because honestly the sauce just enhances each and every bite even more.

It’s outrageous!

Happy Summer

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Zucchini Roll Ups with Ricotta and Summer Corn

zucchini roll ups with ricotta and summer corn

I’ve been taking full advantage of all the summertime produce I can get my hands on, soon it will be gone and we’ll move on to more cooler weather veggies, but I’m not ready for that yet.

Zucchini is still in abundance along with yellow squash and sweet corn which I pick up at the farmers market nearly every week.

I recently made some eggplant rollatini which I posted on my Instagram account last week, so I thought why not try it with zucchini!

zucchini roll ups with ricotta and summer corn

To put a little summer twist on it I mixed fresh corn into the ricotta, spinach and cheese filling and I’m so glad I did, we loved it!

ingredients for zucchini roll ups

This is pretty easy to make so I’ll just tell you what I did. Slice your squash up fairly thin, you want to be able to roll it up, if it’s cut too thick you won’t be able to bend it easily. I used a grill pan inside to cook it down slightly on each side to get it limp enough to roll.

In a bowl I started out with a cup of well drained ricotta, the kernels of one ear of corn, a handful each of romano cheese, shredded mozzarella and fresh spinach that I chopped, you could sub out fresh basil for the spinach if you prefer.

I added 1 small smashed garlic clove, salt, pepper and an egg. Before you add the egg taste everything to your liking. Depending on how many roll ups you make, you might need to mix up a little more filling. Keep in mind you’ll only need a heaping tablespoon on each, that is if your squash ribbons are normal size and not huge.

zucchini roll ups with ricotta and summer corn

Roll them up, placing them seam side down into a pool of marinara sauce. I like to spoon a little extra sauce down the center of each roll so as not to cover the whole thing because I like seeing all the different colors peeking out. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 350 or until ricotta is heated through and set.

zucchini roll ups with ricotta and summer corn

Take a bite into some of the last days of summer using up the abundance of zucchini available with this healthy, easy and delicious meal!

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Zucchini Tomato Gratin

zucchini gratin Our garden is producing wonderful things and I’m inspired daily to use everything we pick. Winter comes all too soon here and it’s going to be really sad to say goodbye to all this freshness! So for now I give you my version of a gratin.

I like to make this in a wide pan, I use this paella pan that I have, I’m sure you’ve seen it in many of my posts, but I love it I can’t help it! I’m sure a cast iron pan would work as well.
First layer; Sweet Vadalia onion ring slices on a nice drizzle of olive oil ( the pan I use gets them all caramelized on the bottom)
Sliced zucchini
Handfull of romano cheese spread all over
Toasted homemade Italian bread crumbs spread about
Small cherry tomatoes placed all around
I had some cut leeks I needed to use so I threw them in, glad I did!
Drizzle with olive oil
More cheese
More breadcrumbs
Repeat!
Garnish with fresh snipped basil
Place in a hot oven at 425 till tender and crispy and the tomatoes pop and get caramelized, you could even place it under the broiler at the end to crisp up the top more, I have a convection roast feature on my stove so that always does the trick.
The imported romano cheese, the tomatoes ( you must use cherry tomatoes, please) the homemade breadcrumbs and those caramelized onions paired with the zucchini, I’m telling you I could almost become a vegetarian!

But instead I made more of that beautiful cod along side it. I saw this preparation on the cable TV show, Every Day Food, it’s so simple but BURSTING with flavor! Chop up some fresh herbs, I used basil, chives and parsley, now grate some fresh lemon zest into the mix. Salt and pepper your fish and swipe the top with Dijon mustard, now press it down into the herb mixture and of course drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 425 till translucent. This…Was…Fabulous! The fresh herbs complemented the fish so well, so light, so summer!

Now for a little palette cleanser, how about some Key Lime Pie. Sorta. You see my husband and I are crazy about key lime pie, but living here in Chicagoland key limes are not readily available so I never even thought about making this, until I saw Pioneer Woman’s post on it.
She calls it Key Lime Pie, Sorta because she uses regular limes not key limes, no problem here because I just bought 20 limes for $1.00! So I was inspired. I won’t even tell you how many times I’ve made it this summer, we crave it! I know it’s not the so called “real thing” but it’s darn close!
So before summer is over all you key lime pie lovers, you MUST make this! So here’s the recipe.
Note: From my guilt of making this so often I used reduced fat condensed milk and I even bought a reduced fat graham cracker crust and the result was just as good. I would encourage you to try her version first, but if you go past 3 pies like I did, you might want to think about switching things up! It’s so refreshing on a hot summer day.
Enjoy your weekend and Buon Appetito!
Oh, next week August 15Th is my 3 year Blogiversary I hope you can stop by for a visit, I have a nice giveaway too!
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