Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tomato & Ricotta Salad

It’s so hard to believe that fall is in full force. Although I love to dress for autumn this morning I decided to take advantage of the days when I can still wear peep-toe shoes and capris without risking a cold, as I feel those days will just become fewer and further between. I got back late last week from a week long Texas trip and Friday was off to the grocery to restock the shockingly bare fridge. We like to eat as seasonally as possible, and while I’ve been craving hearty stews and heavy braises lately, when I spied the still-heavily-stocked heirloom tomatoes it took such a strong will to not reach for one. To taste just one more juicy, sweet tomato before it’s time to call it for the season. While I’m sure a few good, late summer tomatoes can still be found, I’d rather it be at the farmers market than Whole Foods any day and may just have to take a lunch break this week to check out what’s currently at  the market (also craving a hearty lamb tagine, would love to grab ingredients for that as well for when the temperatures dip again later this week).

I love the simplicity of this recipe but also how decadent it can be at the same time. An overindulgent dollop of creamy, herby ricotta over silky sweet and juicy slices of tomato and a drizzle of spicy, bright olive oil to finish it off, it’s light and rich at the same time. The perfect transition food. From summer to fall. From light to hearty and so on and so forth. I’m sad to lose summer, but the wonderful thing about living in the Northeast is that every season is such a noticeable change, so while it's hard to say goodbye to sandals and skimpy dresses and the bounty of produce that New York has to offer in the summer, I’m so looking forward to pumpkins, to tall boots, warm scarves, and hearty stews. But until the warm days are officially gone, hand me a gorgeous, plump  tomato and let me enjoy the last trace of summer.
Tomato and Ricotta Salad
2 large tomatoes
1 c. ricotta (can use part skim if watching your weight)
1 tsp. oregano- finely chopped
½ tsp. rosemary- finely chopped
1-2 basil leaves- finely chopped
1 roasted garlic glove- minced (optional)
1 tsp. + 1 pinch flaky sea salt
½ ground pepper
1 ½ tsp. olive oil + extra to drizzle over

1. Slice tomatoes into ¼”rounds and set aside. In a bowl combine the ricotta, olive oil, garlic, herbs, 1 tsp of salt and ground pepper and mix well. Fan out 3-4 tomato slices on a plate and top a healthy dollop of the ricotta mixture. 

2. Drizzle the olive oil over and then sprinkle the extra pinch of salt. If you really like pepper feel free to grind more over. Top with an extra basil leaf or 2.

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