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Sep 2, 2006 08:58 PM

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

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



          Banana-Toffee (Banoffee) cake

          There are dozens of recipes on the web for each.


          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.