I had the booty call version of an MRI on Wednesday.

I know, right – what does that even MEAN?!?!?

It means that at 9:30 pm, in the middle of a sultry October night, I took an elevator (quite bravely, might I add) down two floors into the sub-basement of a building on 72nd street between York Avenue and East End.

And while I was half expecting Patrick Dempsey to be down there with a coy, seductive look on his face that pretty much said “take me now”.  All I got was one of those awful hospital gowns that never really closes right and a completely motionless hour in a tube during which magnetic rays were shot through every millimeter of my right hip and pelvis.

(It was basically the worst booty call of all time.)

At the end of it, all I got were about five thousand films of my innermost organs that my roommate and I spent an hour trying to use all of our medical school skillz to read.  Quite fruitlessly.

In the end, we diagnosed me with a blurry pelvis and went to bed.


And even though I was able to walk (kind of) on Wednesday, yesterday I woke up unable to put weight on my right leg.

With an official diagnosis of right pelvic stress fracture on the inferior pubic ramus.  (Basically, the exact same place that my last stress fracture was in, two years ago, except on the opposite side of my body.)

I screamed.  I’m still screaming.

It felt and feels like my heart was ripped out of my chest cavity and like I just can’t get enough air no matter how hard I breathe.  It feels like being broken up with.  It feels like a broken heart.

Why all the drama, right?  It’s just a stress fracture.

Normally, yes.  It’s just a stress fracture.  That is, if the fracture is in a part of your body that you can actually isolate and stay off of and allow to heal.  But your pelvis?  Your pelvis is involved in just about everything you do.  Sitting.  Standing.  Existing.

It’s not as simple as a pair of crutches for a few weeks.  It’s more like 9 months of recovery and pain and hoping that that two block walk to the grocery store didn’t just set you back another three weeks.

And I just don’t want to do it again.

But sometimes we aren’t given a choice.  And I just have to remember that in the scheme of my life and in the world, this is insignificant.  It is one more thing to overcome.  One more thing that I can overcome.  And I’m lucky…that it is something overcome-able.

But I’ll be honest.  It would be a lot easier to overcome if I had Mr. Dempsey here to hold my hand.  (Just saying.)


I’m sorry that this is such a downer of a post, but sometimes this is real life.  And that’s why we do this, right? That’s why we care so much about what other people are putting into their body’s.  It’s not just about the food…it’s about the people behind the food.  So I know you’ll understand.

This week, our Gourmet Live Women Game Changer in food is Clotilde Dusolier, the author of the blog Chocolate and Zucchini.  A total Francophile, she posts about brioche and stinky cheese, but also about mochi and other such delicious non-French things.

I have no really good tie-in for this savory zucchini crumble other than that it was comfort food when I needed comfort…and it used up half of the pound of ricotta that was in my fridge (bonus – extra calcium!).  I’ll be honest, though, I’m not really sure how necessary the figs were to this dish and I truly think it would equally delicious without them if you can’t find them.

For more of Clotilde’s recipes, check out these blogs:
Val – More Than Burnt Toast
Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan – The Spice Garden
Claudia – A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather – girlichef
Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette – Healthy Living
April – Abby Sweets
Katie – Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary – One Perfect Bite
Kathleen –Bake Away with Me
Viola – The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue – The View from Great Island
Barbara – Movable Feasts
Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds
Amy – Beloved Green
Linda – Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A – There and Back Again
Martha – Lines from Linderhof
Nancy – Picadillo


Savory Zucchini Crumble with Figs and Ricotta
Serves 4, adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 lb zucchini, cut into half moons
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 8 oz ricotta (original recipe uses mozzarella but I had a pound of ricotta in my fridge)
  • 6 figs, quartered


  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, until fragrant.  Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper.  Cover, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 6 minutes, until slightly softened.  Remove the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, stirring gently from time to time, until the rounds are tender but still retain their shape and most of the juices have evaporated.
  2. While the zucchini is cooking, combine the breadcrumbs, butter, parmesan and thyme in a medium mixing bowl.  Rub with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  3. Arrange the zucchini over the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking dish.  Crumble the ricotta over the zucchini (or sliced mozzarella).  Top this with the fig quarters.  Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the dish and bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and golden.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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85 Responses to Clotilde Dusolier’s Savory Zucchini Crumble with Figs and Ricotta

  1. Pierce says:

    Oh man…a stress fracture! I am sorry to hear this. Real life indeed. I am digging the figs and zucchini though. Zucchini and Chocolate was one of the first blogs I ever read – love Clotilde!

    OK, I am keeping you in my thoughts for a quick men, my friend!

  2. Oh no!! I’m so sorry. That sucks. My sister broke her collarbone twice and it was so hard–you don’t realize how much you move things!

    I wish I could make you a pie!

  3. Hang in there, Joanne! Will be thinking of you. My motto for things like this is just to take them one day at a time… Take care of yourself!

  4. OohLookBel says:

    You poor thing! A stress fracture sounds like it causes so much stress, as well. Really hoping that you take care of yourself (or have someone to do it for you). Remember to ‘eat well’, sweetie.

  5. I’m so frustrated for you:-( But on the other hand, less running = more cooking time:-)

  6. girlichef says:

    Although I like figs, I am having a hard time imagining them with zucchini, so I’d probably take your suggestion and just make it without. It looks fantastic, though. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this again…I can just imagine the frustration. I’m sorry that you’re in pain xo

  7. Really sorry to hear that. I wish you a speedy recovery. All the nutritious food you are eating is certainly a great start. And Mr. Dempsey can be a bit inconsiderate sometimes!

  8. Hannah says:

    I’m so sorry Joanne, it’s so hard to hear bad news like this… All I can say is that it will get better, and go easy on yourself. Cut yourself some slack, and just let your body heal. You’re definitely doing the right thing with all of this healthy, delicious food. Seriously, it looks amazing, and I can make a mean tofu ricotta, so I may just need to squeeze this in for dinner tonight.

  9. Joanne says:

    Sorry about your stress fracture. I’m a walker, walking everywhere that I can and loving it. I would be seriously depressed too if an injury kept me from moving. Hope you feel better soon 🙂

  10. Claudie says:

    I think you are actually handling it really well. This is no fun news, but, I’m really glad to see you are staying positive, and I think we all know you’ll overcome this stress fracture successfully 🙂
    Also, I think that this Mr. Dempsey should better show up soon. Someone needs to carry those grocery bags for you!!
    Anyhow, your recipe looks delicious, as usual.

  11. bellini says:

    I am really sorry to hear this Joanne, especially when you were back on the road to the lifestyle you enjoy. As for the casserole, please scoop me a large piece.

  12. Joanne, darling: *HUG*
    I wish I weer in NYC so I could help out by feeding YOU.
    I can’t believe this is round 2 of suckiness, but you got to do what you got to do… and just thank your lucky stars you aren’t in clerkship!!

  13. Ahhh, I’m so sorry, that really sucks. I hope you have a speedy recovery, and I’ll work on getting P-Demps over there for a little “physical therapy” ASAP.

    On the plus side, the dish looks delicious!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Joanne I am so sorry. I know the frustration of an injury and I think you should feel free to vent here. We know you’re not a whiny person so once in a while getting your feelings out is totally okay.

  15. That Girl says:

    As I said before – heal better soon!

  16. I’m so sorry to hear about your stress fracture. That just SUCKS. Especially as a runner. A close friend of mine is recovering from a stress fracture, and I know how long and hard the process is. I hope yours goes faster and smoother than expected.

    The crumble sounds yum!

  17. Ranjani says:

    So sorry to hear about your injury – I hope your recovery goes smoothly. Love how your comfort food is still fresh and healthy!

  18. MM says:

    Oh, Joanne. I’m so sorry to hear this. I can’t imagine how frustrated you must feel to have to face it again. I think you’re a pretty tough gal, though. And at least you can pull some humor out of it.

    Breadcrumbs on top of zucchini. Sign me up, please.

  19. What amazing pictures! Looks so delicious! 🙂

  20. daphne says:

    oh dear. that’s awful! what a huge amount of pain and frustration + having to not run! I love how you directed it into baking and cooking. I do hope you feel better soon.

  21. Oh Joanne! That’s terrible. My heart goes out to you darling.

  22. Oh, you poor thing! So sorry to hear this. I hope you feel better real soon.

    Sending all my love,
    Camila Faria

  23. Megan says:

    I just made a pasta dish with all my zucchini last night and am now wishing I had seen this first. Looks amazing!

    Hang in there! Hope you feel better soon!

  24. Rachel says:

    I am so, so sorry to hear about your injury. I can only imagine how awful it would be to try to stay sedentary enough to let your pelvis heal. I know I would go crazy. Maybe, since this is your second go around with this injury, it will be easier because you know little tricks to help yourself out?
    You always have friends, family, and food – excellent, mind-boggling food like what you just made : )

  25. Worst booty call of all time. I’m so sorry you have a stress fracture in your pelvis. Especially having gone through one already. Sending good thoughts your way. Maybe Patrick Dempsey will come nurse you to health.

  26. Susan says:

    Oh dearie! I’m so sorry that you have to repeat this nightmare of slooow healing! While Patrick Dempsey could take some of the sting out of things, it might be more of a tease … if you know what I mean!

    Best to eat healthy and take care of that pelvis … oh and get all the sympathy you can from fam and friends!

    As for Clotilde’s zucchini recipe… sounds wonderful and I am intrigued by the inclusion of figs … a little sweetness to offset the mellowness of the zucchini, I guess! I’d give it a try!

  27. tigerfish says:

    Sorry to hear about your injury. :O The last thing I want to hear now is this word “fracture” but I kinda agree with you, we must let positive thoughts fill our mind.

    Every part of our body is really there for a reason. When I had to depend on one-hand to cook (due to my injury), it really affected what was going into my body as food cos cooking at this time REALLY need to be easy and no more stress on the hands. If only my feet could do the cooking or maybe if “eyeballing” could really work magic!

    Take care and have a speedy recovery.

  28. ack. i heart you. you’re the best!

    xo Alison

  29. Oh crap, not another stress fracture!?

    I can’t believe you’re even cooking but I knew it would be healthy, which you need now more than ever.

    Take care, Joanne!

  30. Allison says:

    I love how you make healthy food look over the top indulgent.

  31. Oh no you poor thing! Get better soon!!

  32. Shannon says:

    oh my heavens, i’m screaming too. I’m utterly frustrated that this same thing has happened again… do they have any clue as to why? ~sigh~ Ok, so on happier fronts, a zucchini crumble??? YUM. and the figs in here intrigue me 🙂 sending some hugs, and apple pie (presuming i get a chance to bake this weekend)!

  33. Amy says:

    Oh, boo 🙁 This stinks. Gosh, how do you even let a pelvis heal? I mean, it’s not like you can lie down for 9 months. Obviously, no more marathon running! So, you’ll be sedentary and gain a few pounds. Winter’s coming. Think of it as more insulation? Big hug sweetie.

  34. Jeanette says:

    Oh Joanne, so sorry to hear about your stress fracture, bummer! Hopefully you’ll find comfort in this lovely savory crumble.

  35. brocstar says:

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!! I feel a little heart broken for you! Why do things like this happen to strong, determined, and fit individuals?
    Eat lots of chocolate.

  36. Mo 'Betta says:

    This sucks! Not the dish, but the stress fracture. I’m so sad for you!

  37. Victoria says:

    I love you and am SO sorry you are going through all this again, and unable to run the marathon. You are so brave and I’m so proud of you regardless. I hope to see you soon! What are you craving? I will have to cook you something fantastic and comforting!! Love you lots!

  38. MS2 says:

    MMM this looks so delicious. I think I might try it with cream cheese. Sorry about the stress fracture 🙁

  39. Reeni says:

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this again! It sounds quite painful. I would do the same and drown my sorrows with zucchini. And ricotta. It looks crazy good. Sending you big hugs! xoxo

  40. well…shit 🙁 I am just so sorry to hear you’re hurt. I know you can and will overcome this. Food as wonderful as this definitely can’t be detrimental to healing. I am sending huge cyber hugs your way…

  41. Barbara says:

    Oh Joanne, I’m so sorry! But take one day at a time, do exactly what the doctor says and you will heal better than ever. (I think you may have to find another form of exercise…my daughter had to as well.)
    Love your recipe this week!

  42. Christina says:

    Sorry about the stress fracture, Joanne. I know how painful and annoying they can be, but that was a minor tibial fracture. I hope it heals up for you soon, and try to take it easy!

    As for the recipe, I’m always looking for different ways to cook zucchini, and now I found one.

  43. Another winning recipe with zucchini! Hope that you’ll recover fast dear…

  44. newlywed says:

    Oh no! That sounds painful. But…the zucchini looks amazing, at least.

  45. Maria says:

    Sorry to hear about the incident Joanne! Hope you feel better soon! These look delicious, I love the ingredients you’ve used!

  46. Kerstin says:

    Oh no, I’m so sorry Joanne 🙁 *hugs* I hope your recovery is speedy.

  47. Tasha says:

    Oh Joanne, I am so very sorry to hear you have to go through this all over again. And you have every right to share something that isn’t just witty or positive- life isn’t puppies and rainbows all the time. I hope you heal quickly. As for the recipe, it sounds like good feel-better food to me.

  48. Mary says:

    I am so SO sorry, Joanne! That stinks. It definitely would have been easier to deal with if Dempsey had been there. 🙁

  49. kellypea says:

    Bummer to hear about your pelvis. About this time last year — not even a week before we were getting ready to spend a busy two weeks in England, I tore the meniscus in my right knee. Surgery + rehab followed the vacation where I sucked it up, swollenly and painfully. Hope your recovery is uneventful. You know — filled with yummy food. This is quite the combo of flavors. I’m a bit slow with figs, so I’ll think about them in this…

  50. Carolyn Jung says:

    Figs with ricotta…figs with blue cheese…figs with mascarpone….mmmmm, what’s not to like? Yum!

  51. iscribbler says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your injury. I suppose if one had to come up with a positive in all of this, at least you’ll be recovering over winter? It’s not much, I know. 🙁 Hope your recovery goes well!

  52. Astra Libris says:

    Joanne, I’m so sorry! *hugs* My heart is breaking for you… It’s been such a long, ongoing road with my silly hip – you have my total sympathy and support… *more hugs…*

  53. Never heard of stress fracture before but it is painful and I feel bad for you; well, even physical pain can be relieved with good food and this is a great antidote you have concocted here.

  54. OUCH! Im so sorry to hear that Joanne. Tgus us a nahir bummer, knowing how active your lifestyle it. But stay well, take care and do what the doctor says (even if he is not Patick Dempsey-usque.

  55. OMV pardon my French haha no my typos (tsk tsk tsk this smartphone is making me look dumb haha) I meant This is a major bummer… and not Tgus us a mahr so sorry Joanne!

  56. Your Little Sister says:

    i know you dont think i read your blogs but i do! and to be honest, i thought this recipie was a desert once i saw it but that is OK because it looked like a DELISH DESERT! anyway i just want you to know that i love you a lot no matter if your able to run or not. i just want you to get better and for you to be happy. even though im your little sister im always here. i love you and im going to call you tomorrow so GET READY TO ANSWER !

  57. I was wondering how figs and zucchini tasted together…I probably would have thrown in some eggplants or tomatoes instead. It looks tempting enough though.
    Get well!

  58. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s terrible about your stress fracture but how did you get it? What were you doing? Zucchinis and ricotta work really well together and I’m sure this was a great comfort meal after your torrid day out.

  59. Caitlin says:

    Ugh. I am so sorry to hear about the stress factor. Hang in there. You WILL recover and be able to run again! Good luck.

  60. I’m so sorry Joanne! I’ve never had a stress fracture, but I did have such bad piriformis syndrome/sciatica, that I was benched for 9 months also. And now? No more half marathons for me. I run 2 miles to 4 miles, 1 to 2 days per week. That’s it. The bike and the pool are my friends.

  61. so so sorry Joanne no words will pray for a speedy recovery

  62. Lora says:

    So sorry to hear about your setback. If I could, I would send over McDreamy stat. The dish looks wonderful btw. I have been making some of your deelish recipes for my mom who is recovering from some health issues. BIG hits with her (and me). Every. One. Putting this one on the list. Take care of yourself. Let me know if you want me to bring you some get well soon macarons 🙂

  63. Cate says:

    Ugh… although your post made me laugh (as usual) I’m so so sorry about your stress fracture. That totally sucks 🙁 Good luck with your recovery

  64. Dana says:

    Oh Joanne. I’m so sorry honey. It just isn’t fair to have an injury when you are trying to do your body good. I can’t imagine having such a major part of my body hurting. You are tough, you are strong, hang in there. I will send you yoga healing vibes.

  65. grace says:

    aw, bad news–hang in there, joanne! at least you can still post lovely and tasty things like this, created by someone’s whose name i’d be embarrassed to attempt pronouncing. 🙂

  66. Oh sweetie, I am SO sorry this happened! Hope you have a speedy and as painless as you can recovery!

  67. Emily says:

    Ohhh I’m so sorry! I hope you get to feeling better soon. I can’t imagine the pain you’re in.

    This crumble sounds really interesting. I bet you could sub zucchini in a lot of dessert recipes.

  68. Oh hun Im so sorry! I feel your pain. I fractured both sides of my pelvis in a car accident years ago and it was the worst. You’re scared to sneeze for the pain. Wishing you a speedy recovery and you’ll be marathoning in no time xo!

  69. Nisrine says:

    Fabulous side dish. You did a great job with it, Joanne,

  70. Pam says:

    I am so sorry Joanne!! What a total bummer. This recipe would make me feel better!!

  71. Miriam says:

    Joanne, I am so very sorry. I am wishing you as speedy of a recovery of possible and a great big hug!! The meal looks amazing :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  72. I’m so sorry! 🙁 I do hope you heal quickly- this injury must be very frustrating. Sending good thoughts your way! Just got some zucchini tonight, and I have ricotta in the fridge. I may have to do without the elusive figs, unless my favorite little French farmer comes through. 🙂

  73. Yasmeen says:

    Oh, Joanne. You poor thing 🙁 I understand your pain though – quite literally!

    Two years ago I broke my right knee cap. It was wrongly diagnosed and wrongly treated despite my begging and pleading numerous doctors to have a second look at it. It took me ages to recover and I became really protective of my leg.

    Fast forward to my walk to work this morning. It was raining. I slipped. My knee took ALL the impact of the brick sidewalk. I went into work semi-crying. Luckily I have sweet and sympathetic coworkers but I’m not sure anyone understood the symbolic pain attached to the fear that it just got worse!

    Ok that’s a long way to say – GET BETTER, and I know how you feel.

    On a happier note, the zucchini looks SO yummy!

  74. I am so sorry to hear that your are in so much pain. I will think positive healing thoughts. It must be very frustrating and you have every right to feel down about it.

    This does look like it would be at least a little dose of comfort. Hang in there. 🙂

  75. Katerina says:

    I feel so sorry for you Joanne having to deal with such a difficult situation in such a young an age! Life is tough and sometimes is tougher for us. I was lucky enough to face its bad face at my 30’s and not before. But hey, whatever doesn’t kill you it just makes you stronger right? This is absolutely true. I am sure you are a strong person and you will be able to overcome this just like everything else. Besides, you make such beautiful meals as this one that can make your day just a little bit brighter. Hang in there!

  76. Kim says:

    Oh, Joanne. I’m so sorry to hear about the stress fracture. I know it’s heartbreaking. I will be thinking of you and wishing you well. xoxoxo

    This zucchini crumble is truly inspiring. I love the idea of adding the cheese with the crumbly topping (either with or without the figs). Looks awesome!

  77. julia says:

    oh no i’m so sorry!! life can bring such bummers.
    but this ricotta zucchini extravaganza looks scrumptiously beautiful.
    it’s a bummer that i can’t have it right now for breakfast

  78. Lori says:

    What a unique way to use figs. I love all your baked and roasted squash goodness.

  79. You’re cooking when you’re down?
    You poor baby……but at least you made something w/ figs to heal you.
    If you need some good Jewish penicillin, let me know. xo (and I mean it)

  80. Eliana says:

    I would have never thought of making a savory crumble. You’re a culinary genius my friend. This looks delicious. And I think the figs totally add something special to the mix.

  81. Johanna GGG says:

    Oh no – I am just catching up and am horrified on your behalf but I hope by now you have come to terms with it and the pain is less raw and you are just getting on with getting yourself better

    love the savoury crumble and your honesty about the figs

  82. Cara says:

    I’m closing my ears. Or eyes, I guess. How can the figs not matter?! Wasted figs? That hurts. I can’t imagine how they don’t contribute tons of yummy caramelized fall sweetness to go with that creamy ricotta…

  83. Nicole says:

    NO!!! More injuries? Suckage girlfriend! Big hugs and hope you heal fast!!!

  84. That really sucks about your pelvis. 🙁 I hope your recovery goes well. This savoury crumbly sounds like perfect comfort food!

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