“Adulting” can be pronounced two ways: with dripping sarcasm or bristling scorn. After all, adult is best unadulterated. Either you can hoist a credit score, fix a flat and fold a fitted sheet, or you can’t.

Disqualifying many. I’m happy to soothe the unruly heap of shorts and slacks. Sheets: No. They leap out of the dryer tangled into vicious knots; best to ball and shove in a deep closet – one that locks.

Recently, a friend (OK, the Internet) explained a calm approach: Stack up the four corner points. Ignore the antics of the springy elastics. While they’re busy roughhousing, sandwich them into a square as neat and smooth as ricotta on white bread.

The first time I worked this trick, I dropped the neat, white square on the dining room table for everyone to admire. No one did. So I swapped it out for ricotta on white. It was tastier than laundry and nearly as adult.


Makes 2 open-face sandwiches

1/2 cup olive oil, about

1 fat clove garlic, mashed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 small (1/2-pound) zucchini

2 slices country or sourdough bread

SEASON: Pour oil into a small bowl. Drop in garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper. Let rest at least 10 minutes.

MIX: Stir together ricotta, thyme and lemon zest in a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

SLICE: Trim zucchini. Use a mandoline or a vegetable peeler to slice the long way into 1/4-inch thick strips.

BRUSH: Paint the bread on both sides with the seasoned oil. Paint the zucchini strips on both sides with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

GRILL: Prepare a medium-hot grill. Grill bread and zucchini strips over direct heat until bread is crunchy and zucchini is bright green at the edges and striped with grill marks, about 2 minutes per side for both.

BUILD: Set bread on each of two plates. Schmear with ricotta. Top with grilled zucchini. Grind on more pepper and drizzle with a bit of the oil.


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