Combining ricotta cheese with tomatoes and olives…
I wanted to find a way to use those lovely English heritage or heirloom tomatoes that are so good at this time of year. Beautiful varieties of lemon yellows, tiger striped greens and plum reds of all shapes and sizes, they are so much better than the awful dullness of a force grown Dutch import.
Ricotta is a nice, light cheese which is great for summer, I tend to go back to this cheese around this time. It looks light and refreshing and I wanted to combine it with the tomatoes and some fresh basil.
Now I have blanched some tomatoes, roasted others but at home I would just get some really good, ripe tomatoes and slice them. Take them out of the fridge to develop their flavour before serving and season them with some good vinegar, olive oil, rock salt and fresh pepper. I make a dressing from pureed basil and olive oil but you could just tear some basil leaves up at the last moment and add them to the tomatoes.
My candied lemon zest can be replaced with a squeeze of fresh lemon but what you want are some nice olives to go in there if that’s your thing. I finished the dish with a ‘biscuit’ made from baked grated parmesan which we bend into shapes once cooked. They add a toasty crunch to the smooth ricotta.
A summer salad before the nights pull in!