There is no finer time on the calendar than tomato season. I especially enjoy the many heirloom varieties available to us once more. I can be completely happy with a tomato sea salt and a little olive oil, but sometimes, I’m looking to make a tomato salad that is a little more robust. It seems that using mozzarella cheese along with tomatoes is so predictable, so I went with adding my homemade ricotta cheese, with wonderful results. It’s the right balance of creaminess against the slightly acidic tomatoes. It’s a match made in heaven !
From by the bay wishing you heirloom food memories!
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Ricotta
- 4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 8 to 10 basil leaves
- 1 recipe fresh ricotta cheese or good quality store bought
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- Fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Assemble on a platter tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Add teaspoons of ricotta cheese on top of tomatoes. Scatter basil leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Line a sieve with a dampened cheesecloth and place over a bowl to strain the cheese. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally. The mixture will start to separate in curds ( the thick part that is the cheese) and whey ( the thin liquid you drain off). Once that happens, pour into the sieve, catching the ricotta into the cheesecloth lined sieve. Let stand for 20 to 25 minutes letting the liquid drain off. Let drain depending how thick and moist you want. the longer it drains the thicker and drier the ricotta. Once drained, take the cheese out of the cheesecloth and store in a container in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will stay 3 to 4 days.