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Zucchini Purée with Ricotta Cream and Tomato Tartare

(recipe, Kelly Myers)

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I’ve adapted Faith Willinger’s elegant summer antipasto from her book Adventures of an Italian Food Lover, substituting zucchini for the eggplant. Roasting the zucchini is easy and adds another dimension to this subtly flavored squash, as do the mint leaves.


    Zucchini purée
    1. 1½ lb. zucchini of any type
    2. 6 to 8 mint leaves
    3. ¼ tsp. salt
    4. ¼ tsp. sugar
    5. 3 to 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    Tomato tartare
    1. 1½ lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    2. ½ tsp. salt
    3. 1 tsp. sugar
    4. 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    5. Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
    Ricotta cream
    1. 8 oz. ricotta
    2. Pinch of salt
    3. ¼ tsp. sugar
    4. 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


    1. Make the purée: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the stems off the zucchini and cut into 2-inch chunks. Toss zucchini with a little of the olive oil and the salt and roast on a baking sheet until the squash is soft and collapsed, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle, put the flesh in the blender (alternatively, use an immersion blender) with remaining zucchini purée ingredients and purée.
    2. Make the tartare: Put the tomatoes in a sieve with large holes over a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and sugar. When the liquid has drained from the tomatoes, transfer the pulp to a bowl, reserving the tomato water. Stir olive oil into the pulp and season with pepper.
    3. Make the ricotta cream: Combine the ricotta, 4 Tbsp. of the reserved tomato water, the salt, sugar, and olive oil in a blender, and mix until creamy.
    4. Serve on individual plates or one serving platter. Mound ricotta in the center of the plate and surround with a ring of zucchini purée. Lay spoonfuls of tartare over the zucchini. Serve with plenty of fresh bread.


    Read more about zucchini in Kelly Myers' "Zucchini, reclaimed."