Sunday, June 20, 2010
Heirloom Tomato Stacks with Whipped Ricotta and Pesto Oil
This is the ironic T shirt of salads. Two slices of the ripest, heaviest heirlooms you can get your hands on sandwiched between ricotta and goat cheese. Top the whole thing off with a little pesto oil and you're done (by the way this salad is kind of like Kathy Lee Gifford - it's prettier in person.)
Giada makes something similar with all goat cheese and heavy cream. I prefer the texture and lightness of ricotta, beat around a little with a fork with just a little goat cheese and lemon zest thrown in for interest. The only problem with eating this 'salad' is how much white wine I tend to drink with it. Those two are damn good friends.
Zesty Heirloom Tomatoes with Ricotta and Pesto Oil
2 heirloom tomatoes, preferably large and different colors/varietals
3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons goat cheese
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon prepared pesto (I prefer Cibo brand)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher or sea salt
Set the ricotta and goat cheese out for 20 minutes or so to let soften. Place in a small bowl and stir in the majority of the lemon zest with a fork, leaving a pinch of zest to stir into your oil mixture (don't let it sit too long or it will dry out.) Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir again and set aside.
In a separate coffee cup or small bowl, combine the pesto, oil, and last bit of lemon zest. Set aside while you cut your tomatoes into thick (about a half inch) slices. Place the widest slice on the bottom of your serving plates. Season oh so lightly with salt and pepper then spoon some of the cheese mixture over the slice. Place a smaller slice (ideally from a different colored tomato) over the cheese, putting a little more (a spoonful) on top. Drizzle with the pesto oil and serve immediately. You can top with a teensy bit more of salt and pepper if desired.