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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fresh Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes and Pesto

I came home with some farm fresh ricotta amongst the treasures from my local farmer's market this weekend.  I wanted to use it to make something good, but did not feel like cooking after much Easter baking.  So I found this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis at The Food Network for a Whipped Ricotta Salad - no cooking required.  I adapted it just a bit and it turned out to be such a fresh, bright and delicious appetizer at our Easter table.  We served it alongside a basket of thinly sliced Italian bread for spreading on (also acquired at the Farmer's Market) and really enjoyed it!
1 1/4 cups fresh ricotta cheese or whole milk ricotta
2 tsps. olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 1/2 Tbsps pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsps olive oil, plus 1 tsp
1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
First whip the ricotta in a food processor fitted with a metal blade with the olive oil and salt, until light and smooth, about 30 seconds.  Spoon out and set aside.  Then put the basil, pine nuts, vinegars, salt and pepper and olive oil in the food processor and process until desired consistency - pesto like consistency.  Toss the pesto mixture with the tomatoes.  Spread the ricotta onto a small serving platter, then top with tomato/pesto mixture.  Serve alongside sliced Italian bread to use as a dip or spread.

Fresh Ricotta from Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton:
All the fresh farmer's market goodies found at The Riverhead Farmers Market:

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