Ricotta salata is one of my absolute favorite cheeses in the world. It is a ricotta cheese that has been pressed, salted, and dried and it is simply amazing!
The tomatoes…you may remember (or not) that I participate in a Vintage Recipe Swap that my friend Christianna from Burwell General Store put together a couple years ago. It’s a cozy and casual swap where the group is given a vintage recipe to change up and make your own. The cool part of this swap is that the members every month stray so far from the original and get really creative. The fun part for me is seeing how far everyone runs with the original recipe. This is the original recipe:
Tomato and Ricotta Salata Salad with Gazpacho Dressing
Ingredients for Gazpacho Dressing:
8 ounces cucumber (about 1 cucumber), halved, seeded and peeled
3 ounces red pepper (about 1/2 red pepper), chopped
4 plum tomatoes
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (add more as needed for taste)
salt and pepper, to taste
for the salad:
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced thick
2 hearts of palm, sliced
1 tablespoon toasted pinoli nuts
4 basil leaves
3 slices of ricotta salata marked on the grill (if you can’t find this cheese, you can omit it)
handful of frisée lettuce (substitute with another lettuce if you prefer)
To make the gazpacho dressing:
If you can let it chill for an hour, that is great because the more time it gets to rest, the more flavorful it will be.
The tomato slices are stacked. Place the first tomato slice in the center of the plate. Place two basil leaves in between the first tomato and the second. Place two more basil leaves on top of the second tomato slice and top with the last tomato. Scatter the hearts of palm slices around the plate. Place the frisée lettuce on top of the tomatoes and stack the ricotta salata slices against the lettuce. Drizzle your chilled gazpacho around the salad (drizzle according to your taste. If you like more dressing, go ahead and pour instead of drizzle). Sprinkle on the toasted pinoli.