Cooking With Cottage Cheese

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Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Cottage cheese has a reputation as a diet food. But in this week’s Recipes for Health, Martha Rose Shulman makes a convincing case for cooking with cottage cheese.

Cottage cheese is an excellent, low-calorie source of protein — a half-cup of 1 percent low-fat cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein and only 82 calories. But unlike other dairy products, it isn’t an excellent source of calcium; much of that nutrient goes out with the whey during the curding process.

I use cottage cheese in cooked dishes as well, blended into a creamy sauce for pasta or as a low-fat, high protein base for a dip. Cottage cheese makes gratins taste rich and luxurious, and my cottage cheese bread rises high above the edges of the pan. Cottage cheese also is a low-fat, low-cost alternative to ricotta for lasagna.

Here are five new recipes for cooking with cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese Pesto: This pungent mixture serves as a vegetable dip, spread or pasta sauce.

Lasagna With Spinach and Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese substitutes for ricotta in this rich pasta dish.

Raspberry Cream: This simple dish is a perfect setting for frozen raspberries.

Cottage Cheese and Herb Loaf: This savory, high-protein bread is ideal for sandwiches.

Summer Squash and Cottage Cheese Gratin: This comforting, high-protein gratin is a great vehicle for the summer squash now pouring into farmers’ markets.