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Blanched Peas and Ricotta Cheese Salad

Blanched Peas and Ricotta Cheese Salad

A recipe from Chef Brendan Collins.
Ingredients for 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
Ingredients for Ricotta (makes 2 cups)
  • 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
Ingredients for the Balsamic Vinaigrette (makes 2 1/4 cups)
  • 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
  • Pepper
  • 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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