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.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Whipped Ricotta
 
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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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Spring Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese, lemon and Hazelnuts

spring salad with asparagus and goat cheese

I’ve been taking full advantage of asparagus season, my fridge is constantly stocked with those tender thin stalks. Besides just roasting them, which is a given, I’ve been putting them into frittatas, risottos, pasta dishes, tarts and a ton of salads.

In this salad today the asparagus is really the star. You give them a really quick roast to get them out of the raw state, slice them in half lengthwise, then gently toss into a hunk of honey infused goat cheese which has been loosened up a bit with a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing. Honestly, you could stop right there it’s that good!

But continue on please because we’re making a salad today.

spring salad ingredients

For the other ingredients you’ll want to build your salad around what’s in season, and being that its spring here I used a mixture of red leaf lettuce and a little arugula for spiciness, crispy radishes, fresh peas and fava beans, I added in some raw zucchini ribbons because I love the look and taste it gives to a salad, plus crunchy toasted hazelnuts.

spring salad with asparagus and goat cheese

Layer everything together rustic style onto a nice big platter and spoon more of the lemon and olive oil dressing all over.

spring salad with asparagus and goat cheese

For a special finish to this salad add generous shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano, it’s a must!

4.7 from 3 reviews
Spring Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese, lemon and Hazelnuts
 
A beautiful fresh salad that celebrates Spring!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of asparagus,on the thin side but thick enough to cut in half lengthwise.
  • 1 cup fresh peas, or frozen and defrosted
  • ½ cup of cooked and prepped fava beans, you could use frozen defrosted lima beans
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium raw zucchini made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, (no seeds)
  • ½ bunch of red leaf lettuce chopped bite size and a generous handful of arugula mixed together or combination of salad greens of your choice
  • 4 oz. of chevre goat cheese, I used the one with honey
  • the zest of one lemon, you can cut up a few slices for garnish after
  • ½ cup of toasted hazelnuts, slightly cracked open
  • shaved Parmigiano Reggiano for top of salad
  • extra lemons for dressing
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Roast your asparagus on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil for maybe 5 or 10 minutes on 375 just until the raw taste is gone, you don't want limp asparagus they should still have a good bite to them, so keep checking. Cool them off and them slice them lengthwise.
  2. Make a lemon and olive oil dressing using 2 parts fresh lemon juice to 4 parts olive oil.
  3. In a bowl mash up your goat cheese and loosen it up with 2 tablespoons of the lemon dressing.
  4. Gently toss and coat sliced asparagus into the mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. On a large platter assemble the greens, peas, fava beans, radishes, zucchini ribbons all over ending with the goat cheese coated asparagus on top.
  6. Sprinkle the toasted nuts all around.
  7. Spoon lemon dressing all around, as much as you think you need.
  8. Add shavings of Parmiggiano Reggiano on top.
  9. Garnish with a few lemon slices.

 

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Summer Bounty Zucchini Tart

Delicate zucchini blossoms and thin ribbons of squash pressed into cheesey flavored ricotta highlight this summer bounty tart and it’s nothing short of perfection!Zucchini blossoms need to be showcased and this is the perfect canvas.
Thanks to convenient store bought puff pastry, it makes everything look so elegant when laid upon it and it tastes out of this world.
Crunchy, flaky, buttery!
Even if it sticks together because you might have left it out of the fridge too long and you couldn’t unfold it like you wanted to, ( cough cough),  it still looks pretty and no one would even have a clue that you had a problem.Here’s how you make it.

RICOTTA MIXTURE
In a bowl mix 2 heaping cups of drained ricotta
1 egg
fresh snipped basil
3 different shredded cheeses, I used romano, mozzarella and an aged chedder. At least 1/4 cup each or even more to taste. My advice, taste mixture before you add the egg.
Salt and pepper
TOPPING
In a saute pan with olive oil and 1 clove of crushed garlic, saute ribbons of zucchini, yellow squash and your zucchini blossoms for a quick minute or two until slightly wilted.
PUFF PASTRY
Line a baking sheet with parchment and unfold your cold puff pastry sheet right on to it. Lightly roll it till seams are flat and sheet looks even all around. Take a pairing knife and make a 1/2 inch border all the way around being careful not to cut through. Take a fork and prick the pastry all within the border so air can get through.
Just spread the ricotta mixture, (you’ll have extra to do another one) within the border and then lay your sauteed squash on top and dot with a few cherry tomatoes and a little drizzle of olive oil.
I like to brush my edges with olive oil and a sprinkling of romano cheese.
Cook in a 350 degree oven until edges are dark golden and crispy and so is the bottom, at least 1/2 hour could be more. Ovens vary so just check it.
ENJOY!
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The Heat Is On!

The temperature is rising here in Chicago so lighter meals and salads are now on the menu.
This extremely delicious salad just screams summer! It’s fresh and bursting with healthy vibrant color, how could you resist?
Ribbons of yellow squash and green zucchini take center stage on a bed of mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette.
 The other components are, sliced mini heirloom tomatoes of various colors, red and orange pepper strips, purple onion,
peas and grilled corn, ( which I grilled inside) finished off with dots of creamy goat cheese and crunchy hazelnuts and a drizzle more vinaigrette.

Crispy bread and a tall iced tea and your set for the perfect summer meal, of course feel free to add in some grilled chicken for a little heartier fare, but I was totally satisfied.
There are no exact ingredients here just add in as much as you want, you can’t go wrong. I layered a platter with mixed greens to start. For mine I used 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash, the ribbons were made with a vegetable peeler.  It was way too hot to go outside and grill so I put 2 ears of corn in the microwave for 5 minutes then threw them on my grill pan inside to give them a good char.

It looks beautiful spread out on a big platter because of all the colors, so keep this in mind for your July 4th cookout, it would work great as a side.

Stay Cool!

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My Big Fat Thick Pasta!

Do you ever have the urge to try different pasta shapes? I do, all the time. In fact, if you were to look on my pantry shelf right now you would see quite a few out of the ordinary shapes and sizes.
 What can I say I get bored with the same old same old!
For my latest pasta shape adventure I tried Mezzi Ziti #9, it’s like bucatini on steroids! Thick and long but perfectly toothy tubular strands, it was an eating adventure to say the least.
 Don’t even think about trying to twirl this pasta around your fork, it’s not going to happen. But I guarantee you’ll be hearing a lot of slurping going on!
 My advice is to eat among those close to you!
My sauce was created with vegetables, it was light and very flavorful. I used cherry tomatoes that I roasted with generous amounts of garlic and olive oil, cooked on foil until they burst, then added in fresh basil. The tomatoes will create a great base for your sauce. To that I added in roasted eggplant, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and zucchini ribbons which were quickly sauteed just until they wilted slightly.
Cook your pasta according to directions then toss everything together making sure to scrape all the tomato juices off the foil lined pan. This is a light but still very substantial, meatless meal. 
If you want to be polite you could cut them with your fork as you eat, but it was much better slurping!

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Ribbons of zucchini can instantly transform a simple salad into something you might see served at an upscale restaurant, not only does it look pretty, but the added zucchini adds a special element of flavor. This is so easy to make and you don’t even need a fancy gadget to do it!

A simple vegetable peeler is all you’ll need to to cut the thin lengthwise strips of zucchini. Start by cutting off the ends of your zucchini then use your peeler to cut the strips, stopping and turning when you see the seeds. The unused portion as seen in the photo above can easily be diced up and used for future use.

You’ll want to make sure you cook your strips of zucchini either in a stove top grill or saute pan coated with a tiny bit of olive oil, they only take a couple of minutes. Make sure they cool completely before adding them to your salad.

I used arugula for my salad base and tossed it in a vinaigrette of 3 parts olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar, added a touch of Dijon, a crushed garlic clove, salt, black pepper and oregano, any lemon based dressing would be work as well.
Lay your zucchini strips on top, toss in some feta or shaved Parmesan and sprinkle with toasted nuts, I used hazelnuts here with the feta, but pine nuts or slivered almonds would be just as good. To finish, drizzle a little more dressing over the top. Just let your creative juices flow and make it your own!
Buon Appetito

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GET YOUR GRILL ON!!

And make an EGGPLANT BRUSCHETTA

Simply brush a loaf of ciabatta bread with olive oil, and grill it till crisp. In the meantime, mix together your favorite goat cheese, along with some mascapone, to even out the tang.Mix in some lemon peel and fresh herbs, I used basil and parsley, set aside.

After you have grilled your eggplant that was also brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper, lightly toss it in a balsamic vinaigrette. ( a very important step!)

Now spread that creamy mixture over that crispy ciabatta and layer your eggplant on top, oh yeah, I also grilled up some red pepper for a little color and added flavor! Serve at room temperature. I hope you eggplant lovers try this!!

GRILLED ZUCCHINI RIBBON SALAD

This recipe is adapted from Michael Chiarello. Take a mandoline or a vegetable peeler and make length wise strips of zucchini. Toss them in some olive oil and place on grill, he suggested cooking only one side, but I did both. It cooks up fast so watch it, you just want it lightly wilted with light grill marks. Place them all on a platter. In the meantime, whisk together a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing, adding some crushed garlic, just a hint! of course salt and pepper to taste.

Now add fresh basil and parsley roughly chopped and toss into the zucchini ribbons. Pour the lemon dressing all over.
Top it off with some shaved Pecorino and toasted pinenuts! Can I just say, Yumm!

LILAC’S FROM MY GARDEN

Lilac’s are popping up everywhere here in Chicagoland! They are in full bloom right now, and the smell is incredible! These were taken from a big bush I have in my backyard. Thought I’d share this bouquet with all of you.
Note to all my blog friends… I will be gone on vacation for 1 week, we are flying to sunny California, ( Napa Valley & San Francisco, Woo Hoo!!) I will be sure to come back with plenty of pictures to share, after all it is a foodie lovers dream trip! So with that being said, I won’t be around to visit you till I come back, don’t worry you are all in my reader, I’ll look forward to catching up when I get back.
See you soon,
Marie

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