Spicy Zucchini, Squash, (vegan) Ricotta, and Mint Salad – with Wine Pairing by Chef Fabio Viviani

I’m a Chicagaon and live in a neighborhood where new restaurants open almost every week. My neighborhood, River North, has every type of restaurant and bar you can think of including a very popular neighborhood restaurant called Siena Tavern. Siena Tavern is well known for it’s amazing food and bustling bar scene. It’s also well known for its very own celebrity chef Fabio Viviani. I’ve been a fan of Fabio since his days on Top Chef and really enjoy his Chicago restaurants. I reached out to Fabio recently and he was kind enough to send me a plant based recipe and wine pairing. For this recipe, Fabio recommends his No. 4 Signature White Blend. This white blend is refreshing with fruity overtones but not overly acidic. His wines can be found at www.fabiovivianiwines.com and also at Whole Foods in Chicago. This dish is really great for the end of summer and the wine complements it perfectly. It can be served as an appetizer or side dish. It’s herby, bright, colorful, and has a spicy kick to it. So thanks to Fabio for sharing his recipe and wine!

Fabio says “This salad is super refreshing and perfect for a cool summer night. Because the zucchini squares are cooked, they keep the temperature of the dish a little warm”.


Chef Fabio Viviani


Spicy Zucchini, Squash, (vegan) Ricotta, and Mint Salad by Chef Fabio Viviani

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Paired with Fabio Viviani Wine: No.4 Signature White Blend
By: Chef Fabio Viviani


  • 4 medium yellow zucchini squash
  • 4 medium green zucchini
  • 3 Belgian endives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for dressing the salad
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1 pound arugula, well washed and dried
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan ricotta cheese (such as Kite Hill)


  1. Wash and cut each zucchini lengthwise in half, remove the seeds with a spoon, cut the halves into quarters, then cut each quarter into strips about ½ inch wide. Coarsely chop the endives.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the zucchini and the endive and stir quickly. Season with salt and pepper. When the zucchinis are cooked but still firm, 3 to 4 minutes, transfer the mixture to a large plate to cool.
  4. Roughly chop the mint and basil, place in the large bowl, and add the zucchini, arugula and jalapeno. Toss well and season with lemon juice and olive oil. Dollop the (vegan) ricotta over the top of the salad and serve.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per serving: 202 cal (if using 2 tbs olive oil and 8 oz. package of Kite Hill Ricotta Cheese).

Credit: From Fabio’s American Home Kitchen by Fabio Viviani; published by Hachette Books, a division of the Hachette Book Group. Copyright ©2014 FV Legacy, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. Page 10-11.

Recipe adapted to be plant based with permission.


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