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Monday, March 1, 2010

Zucchini Ricotta Toasts

Ricotta cheese is the latest addition to my ever-growing list of products I will never buy again. Like most suburbanites, I grew up with the notion that homemade treats are great fun if you are retired or independently wealthy, but the rest of us schleps will buy our ketchup and pancake mix, thank you very much. There was a time in my life where I did not believe it possible to make baked beans from scratch. I wish I was kidding.

There exists a vast conspiracy, perpetuated by the General Mills and Krafts of the world, to convince the public that home cooking is tedious, difficult and tiresome, and that the survival of the human race is dependent on a pantry full of mixes, cans and boxes. I am here to tell you that it's not true: this week I made my own jam, spaghetti sauce, hot sauce, yogurt and ricotta cheese. Yes, I am employed full-time. Yes, I have friends. Sometimes, I even watch movies.

Ricotta is incredibly easy and fun to make. True, the fact that I enjoy watching milk curdle makes me a very cheap date, but the two minutes it takes to boil milk, yogurt, vinegar and salt makes a $4 tub of cheese seem mighty silly. I could eat Ricotta with everything, as it has the salty tang of hard cheese, but lacks the often overwhelming goo. I made these toasts for dinner, but I imagine they would be great on a brunch menu, next to peppery bloody marys and a bean salad. Once this cursed city starts to thaw, these will grace the table of many an outdoor breakfast.

Check out David Lebowitz's post on homemade Ricotta

Zucchini Ricotta Toasts

4 English Muffins, sliced open
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 whole zucchini, grated
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 cups homemade Ricotta cheese
1 egg
salt and peppa

Salt grated zucchini and let sit for 30 minutes in a colander. Wring out as much water as possible. Sweat onion with garlic and parsley until fragrant. Toss in zucchini and saute all together until soft. Mix ricotta, Parmesan and egg in a separate bowl. Add in vegetable mixture. Layer sliced tomatoes on english muffins, and spoon over the cheese and veggie mixture. Top with fresh ground pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Brown in the broiler for 1-2 minutes.
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"Bookish" said...

And you still have time to be the best girlfriend ever. :-)

Karisa said...

This looks so delicious you make me want to turn vegetarian!! I just stumbled onto your blog while I was looking for freekeh and quinoa recipies. Now I can't stop reading it.

Thank you for sharing such great recipies and joy in cooking and crafts.

Taste of Beirut said...

I hope I can leave a comment this time! Love yur blog and writing! Lebanese?

Wild Thyme Kitchen said...

Karisa-Thanks for your comment! Glad you are interested in freekeh. It is so delish!

Taste of Beirut-My Dad is Lebanese and I also grew up with a highly skilled tata feeding me and my sisters at every opportunity! I am really in to posting more Lebanese recipes, so you will see them here soon!

Caroline said...

I have the best girlfriend ever too!! And we love this blog. We make your recipes all the time! It's a great "bonding" method. :-)

Taste of Beirut said...

You have a very ingratiating writing style and I have enjoyed discovering your posts; I too love homemade cheese and ricotta (or arresh) is next on my list!

About WGGM said...

Thanks Joumana! I love your blog too. I have been shamefully bad about updating...I keep thinking I am going to get back in to it soon. Thanks for providing the little kick I need!