Serves: 2 as a main course
4 to 6 small zucchini (not more than 2 inches in diameter)
¾ to 1 cup partially skim ricotta (room temperature)
¼ cup minced herbs, chives, basil, dill or mint will all work well.
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese*
Freshly ground black pepper* and salt to taste
1. Wash the zucchini and slice it vertically into ribbons approximately 1/8 to ¼ of an inch thick. If you have a mandolin, it is a perfect way to cut the zucchini evenly. If not a sharp chef’s knife will work.
2. Line a large plate with paper towels or with a dish towel. Layer the slices of zucchini and salt each layer lightly. Place another towel on the top and had a flat heavy weight, or a roasting pan with full cans or bags of grain. This will press out the excess moisture.
3. Steam the squash in a steamer basket or blanch it gently in boiling water until just cooked through. It should still be firm to the bite or al dente. Drain it thoroughly and place in a serving bowl.
4. Add the ricotta and toss the mixture so as not to tear the ribbons.
5. Add the chives, the pepper and the salt and toss a second time.
6. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and serve.
Variation: Once the ribbons are cut, slice them into narrower strip the width of fettuccini.
* Don’t cheat yourself with prepackaged grated Parmesan or ground pepper. Freshness counts here as well as in the veggies. The extra seconds in the preparation will reward you.