Roasted Zucchini with Ricotta & Mint

zucchinis lined up in a row

It seems like this summer has been filled with an abundance of peaches and squash (zucchini is included in that group, and we are talking about the summer varieties today) so far. Things on the menu at my house/apartment lately have included grilled chicken with peaches, peach ice cream, and peach-blackberry cobbler. I’ve made Homesick Texan’s summer squash enchiladas, simple sauteed squash, and Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini & ricotta galette. And it is only July! I know, things are getting out of control over here. And, to be quite honest, I have only just begun my peach/squash madness (recipes and posts to come shortly, I promise).

zucchini slideshow in a row

Last Sunday, A and I made our way to the Eastern Market for the first time in months. I wanted to check out the flea market and was able to drag A along after I planted the “crab cake sandwich” bug in his ear earlier that morning. See, when A’s brother lived in D.C., one of his favorite spots was the Market Lunch at Eastern Market, and we had yet to go since we moved to D.C. almost a year ago (wow, time flies. I can’t believe it has almost been one year!).  It is pretty unbelievable that we never think of it when racking our brains for suitable weekend lunch options. Let me tell you…wow, we have really been missing out! The crab cake sandwiches are literally out of this world delicious. Doughy rolls filled with lump crab meat held together (barely) by bread crumbs. It was true crab perfection. Once we had refueled, we hit the flea market and farmer’s market too which to me makes for a pretty productive Sunday, right?

So, what does this have to do with zucchini you ask? Well, not too much besides the fact that the farmer’s market at Eastern Market was overflowing with beautiful summer squash—yellow, zucchini, crookneck, and pattypan to name a few. So, obviously I had to grab some of each. Thoroughly exhausted from strolling around the flea market looking at every single vendor in the heat, I made A stop with me to grab some other fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market because 2 people equals more hands to carry home produce loot!

roasted zucchini on sheet pan

When we got home the strangest thing happened. It was like the new Food and Wine magazine had read my zucchini-filled mind because the magazine magically flipped to the below Roasted Zucchini recipe. And with a few tweaks, I am sharing it today because it is such a delicious and new way to eat this green veggie. The spices give the dish a bit of heat and tons of flavor.

Tip: The recipe calls for ricotta cheese which is excellent but try to use the freshest ricotta you can find because it really makes all the difference. Greek yogurt would be an excellent substitute for the ricotta, too.

Roasted Zucchini Salad with Ricotta & Mint
Adapted from Food & Wine/July 2010
{Serves 4 as a side dish}

4 to 5 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Fresh ricotta, for serving
Mint leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 450°. Toss the diced zucchini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 18 minutes, until the zucchini are browned around the edges. Sprinkle the zucchini with the crushed red pepper, ground cumin, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Roast until fragrant, about 2-5 minutes longer.

Transfer the zucchini to a shallow bowl. Toss with lemon juice and season with salt to taste. Dollop the ricotta alongside the zucchini. Garnish with mint and serve.

zucchini is served

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