SHEEP’S MILK RICOTTA
WITH SEA SALT, HERBS & GRILLED CIABATTA
- 2 cups Sardinian sheep’s milk ricotta
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian oregano
- 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel or coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon course-ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a Kitchenaid with a paddle or in a medium bowl with a whisk, beat ricotta and milk together until light and fluffy. Add salt and mix well. Place the mixture in a serving bowl. Sprinkle fleur de sel, black pepper, thyme and oregano generously across the top. Top with the olive oil, which will settle on and around the cheese.
For the grilled bread, slice ciabatta or other country bread into ½ inch slices, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on open flame or grill pan until crispy and brown. Place in a bowl and serve alongside cheese.
Recipes courtesy of Locanda Verde
WITH BOSC PEAR, HAZELNUTS AND SMOKED SPECK
- ¾ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
- pinch each of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon Fresh thyme leaves
- 4 big handfuls mixed winter lettuces like radicchio
- 2 ripe Bosc pears, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ¼ pound thinly sliced smoked speck
Roast hazelnuts over very low heat in a dry pan on the stove until golden brown – about five minutes. Shake the pan to avoid burning them. Meanwhile reduce the chicken stock in a small pot until you have about 3 tablespoons – about three to five minutes.
Combine chicken stock, ½ cup of hazelnuts, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender. Cover and blend on medium until the mixture becomes chunky – about 15 seconds. Add both the oils and a pinch of each of salt and pepper and blend until everything is combined and the mixture is relatively smooth — about 30 seconds. Add thyme and mix briefly to combine.
Put lettuces, remaining roasted hazelnuts, and sliced pears in a large bowl. Add about half the dressing and the cheese and toss. Taste and add more dressing, salt and pepper if necessary. Plate the salad and garnish with a few slices of smoked speck.