Blanched Peas and Ricotta Cheese Salad
- 11/2 cups fresh or frozen English peas
- 4 ounces walnuts, preferably whole
- 8 fresh mint leaves
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- Small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 8 ounces Homemade Ricotta
- 6 to 8 slices Ciabatta toasted
- 6 1⁄2 cups organic whole milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups organic heavy cream
- Kosher Salt
- 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 2 1⁄2 tbs distilled white vinegar
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Cracked pepper
- 1⁄2 cup good balsamic vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 1⁄2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 oz seasonal fruit (plums,figs, or apricots finely chopped) optional
- 1 1⁄2 cup canola or blended vegetable oil
Directions for Salad
1) Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2) If using fresh peas, bring a medium pot full of salt water to a boil and toss the peas in.
3) Boil for 6 to 8 minutes
4) Drain and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. *If using frozen peas thaw under cold running water.
5) Spread the walnuts evenly on a baking tray, place them in the oven, and toast until golden (about 5 minutes, toss to toast evenly)
6) Slice mint into thin strips (this is called julienning).
7) Chuck the peas, walnuts, shallots, mint, and cilantro into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
8) Drizzle on vinaigrette and toss the mixture to coat.
9) Transfer the pea salad to a serving bowl or platter and dollop the ricotta on top. Serve with ciabatta on the side
Directions for Ricotta
1) Line a large sieve or strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth.
2) Set over a large deep bowl
3) Bring milk, cream and 1 tsp Kosher Salt to a simmer in large stainless steel pot * using a pot made from reactive metal can affect the taste of the ricotta*
4) Stir occasionally over medium het
5) Add lemon juice and vinegar and cook
6) Stir until mixture curdles (about 1 min)
7) Pour mixture into prepared sieve and let drain
8) Discard the liquid (whey) from bowl (the longer It drains the thicker the cheese) • Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper and drizzle with olive oil
Directions for Balsamic Vinaigrette
1) Place ingredients (except oil) in medium bowl
2) Using a whisk or blender slowly drizzle the oil into the vinegar base *If dressing gets too thick, thin with water
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