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What to do with leftover ricotta and overripe bananas? (not together)

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I made the zucchini & feta tart that was on the cover of Saveur (delicious, but more work than I'd realized from skimming the recipe) so I have about 12 oz of ricotta left over. I tend to let partial containers of ricotta rot in the fridge, so help me use it up!

I also bought a bunch of bananas at the store when there was a full bunch at home, and both cozied up to my CSA tomatoes. My usual default is to peel & freeze for banana bread, but I'm not a big fan of it, so I welcome your creative suggestions.

Thank you!

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  1. slice the bananas, or slice up peaches, or figs, put them on the ricotta, drizzle with some honey, and add toasted pine nuts. i fell in love with a ricotta from arthur ave (little italy in the bronx) and have gone through vats and vats of the stuff with minimal prep.

    my default for ripe bananas is to make a simple drink with milk in the blender. it's a comfort snack from youth for me.

    the recipe for fried bananas from bittman's how to cook everything is also really good. i don't remember the specifics off the top of my head, but can check the book when i get home, if you're interested. it generally involved lightly coating with flour and frying in butter

    1 Reply
    1. re: rose water

      Thank you - I would be interested in this recipe. I tried bananas foster after my husband's recent trip to New Orleans, and I'd be happy to try something else along those lines.

    2. Here's a way to kill two birds with one stone:

      Ricotta Pancakes with Banana-Pecan Syrup

      For the Banana-Pecan Syrup:
      2 tablespoons unsalted butter
      1/2 cup chopped pecans
      2 small bananas, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
      1 cup cane or maple syrup

      For the Ricotta Pancakes:
      2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
      2 teaspoons baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1 tablespoon sugar
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      2 large eggs, separated
      2 cups milk
      4 ounces ricotta, well drained (1/2 cup)
      Butter or vegetable oil

      For the Banana-Pecan Syrup:
      Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and saute for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the bananas and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the syrup and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the syrup is hot and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside in a warm place.

      For the Ricotta Pancakes:
      Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together onto waxed paper or a plate. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or whisk until stiff but not dry. Beat the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta together in a large bowl until well blended and smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently with a large spoon. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites with a rubber spatula.

      Warm a serving platter in a 200 degree F oven.

      Heat a nonstick flat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Grease with butter or vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface, then flip the pancakes over using a large wide spatula. Cook on the other side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the pancakes to the warm platter.

      Serve immediately or hold in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes. Serve the pancakes on heated plates topped with the syrup.

      Yield: about 2 cups syrup, 16 (3-inch) pancakes, 4 to 6 servings

      1. ricotta:

        oven 400 deg F
        oil a pie tin
        sprinkle salt, pepper, and some slightly crushed saffron threads (a small pinch suffices) in pie tin
        spread ricotta over
        bake until golden and serve with fennel and some walnuts and greens for a lovely salad.

        1. Here are a few obvious ones:

          Banana-pecan pancakes

          Spicy banana fritters (bhajis)

          Banana-Walnut Muffins

          Smoothie

          Milkshake

          Banana-Toffee (Banoffee) cake

          There are dozens of recipes on the web for each.

          TT

          1. My mom makes a fab ricotta pasta dish. I don't have the quantities, but you basically cook pasta shells while sautéeing peas and chopped onions in a pan. Then you toss the cooked shells with the veggies, stirring in the ricotta and some pasta liquid. Top with fresh basil, if you have it.

            1. If you still have those bananas Alton Brown's recipe for Banana Ice Cream is excellent:

              Banana Ice Cream

              • 6 bananas, ripe and peeled
              • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
              • 3/4 cup corn syrup
              • 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tbs. vanilla seed paste
              • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream

              Peel bananas and place them in a ziplock bag in the freezer overnight. Remove from freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to an hour. Place them in the bowl of a food processor with the lemon juice. Process for 10-15 seconds. Add the corn syrup and vanilla seeds and turn the processor on. Slowly pour in cream through the feed tube, continuing to process until smooth and completely combined.

              Place mixture in the fridge until it is very cold. When cold, transfer to the can of an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions for freezing.

              Transfer into an airtight freezer container and freezer for 3-6 hours before serving.

              Variation: For a really decadent treat, layer frozen cream from ice cream maker in the freezer container with broken bits of nuts and ribbons of barely warm hot fudge and caramel sauces before final freezing.

              So is Nicole Wesson's Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream. I used brown sugar for additional flavor. If your bananas are overripe you probably won't want to sauté them so the brown sugar would probably be a good choice.

              Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream

              • 3 large bananas, peeled and sliced
              • 1/2 cup sugar
              • 2 1/2 cup buttermilk
              • 2 teaspoon vanilla paste
              • 1/2 cup nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

              Thinly slice the bananas and put them into a medium skillet with a pat of butter over medium heat to cook until golden brown all over. Transfer to a large bowl.

              Whisk together sugar, buttermilk and vanilla in a medium bowl, dissolving most of the sugar, then stir it into the bananas. Refrigerate until cold (at least 30-60 minutes).

              Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze as directed. Add in walnuts, if using. Mine took about 15-20 minutes.

              Transfer to a freezer-friendly container with a lid and freeze until firm (at least 30 minutes) before serving.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rainey

                I use frozen overripe bananas for "ice cream" without using an ice cream maker and often without dairy. Coconut milk works, too. Including gelatin keeps the mixture scoopable though there ARE some ice crystals. It's more sherbet than ice cream.

              2. Probably too late, but I only make banana bread when the bananas are beyond disgusting--entirely black, shriveled, and oozing. You'd never want to eat them as is, but the banana bread is intensely flavored and roll back your eyes delicious.

                Cream cheese spread on a slice makes it even better, if that's possible.

                1. Last time I had leftover ricotta I made a chocolate cake with the recipe on the side of the ricotta container - I think I tweaked it a bit with cinnamon and orange liquer, maybe coffee?? I covered it in a chocolate glaze from The Cake Bible and people raved. When they asked for the recipe I had to admit it was from a box!

                  Sorrento "The Best Chocolate Cake Ever"
                  1 box deluxe devil's food cake mix
                  1 cup water
                  1 cup ricotta (whole milk)
                  1/2 cup veg. oil
                  2 eggs

                  Mix all ingredients on low for 1 min. Scrape bowl, beat medium for 2 minutes. Pour into 2, greased 9-inch pans for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F. The container recommended the following frosting: melt 12 oz premium chocolate over simmering water. Cool to room temp and mix in 1 cup room temp sour cream.

                  1. BTW, does anyone know how long an opened container of ricotta will last in the fridge? I made Emeril's Lasagna over the weekend (got rave reviews for it). I bought a large container when a small probably would have sufficed and now I have too much. I also won't be home until two weeks from now. Will it have gone bad in this time?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gyp7318

                      I think it will go bad in two weeks. You will know when you open it by the smell and by seeing if it changed color.

                    2. ricotta fritters/donuts drizzled with honey while still hot. my friends have a weakness for bananas sauteed with alot of sugar and booze and set alight. good with ice cream, gelato, etc. i've seen recipes for ricotta gelato, though i've never tried it. i'd be intrigued to hear how it turns out ... and pair it with flambeed bananas.

                      1. Use ricotta and leftover bananas for a quick breakfast treat. If the bananas are still firm enough to slice, then slice them. Otherwise you can mash them and mix into the ricotta.
                        1. Toast English muffin halves.
                        2. Spread 2 - 3 tbs ricotta per muffin half
                        3. Sprinkle ground cinnamon to taste.
                        4. Sprinkle ground cardamom (optional)
                        5. Top with sliced bananas (unless you mashed them into the ricotta)
                        6. Eat promptly - while muffin is still warm and crisp.

                        I usually make these with cottage cheese. Bananas are my favorite but works lovely with fresh strawberries, blackberries or raspberries. When using strawberries, substitute chopped fresh mint leaves for the cinnamon.

                        1. process ricotta , some jam and some fruit in the fp. if you are feeling decadent, mix in whipped cream, If not, just chill and eat sprinkled with nuts if you would like. Or instead of fruit and jam, use instant espresso powder and some cocoa and a bit of sugar. eat standing at the counter.
                          Both of these make a nice protein rich dessert for an all vegetable meal.