WITH SALTED RICOTTA
The following recipe was created from produce that otherwise would have been wasted, therefor measurements are approximated and items can be substituted at home if you do not have everything required.
Fresh green asparagus, hard ends trimmed off
Lemon juice and zest
Vin cotto* or aged vinegar
Slices of one day old bread, torn into rough chunks
Garlic cloves, crushed with the back of a knife
Chives, finely chopped
Mint, torn or roughly chopped
Kristen’s amazing salted ricotta
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Preheat your oven to 175°C
Line flat baking tray with baking paper and spread your chunks of bread evenly on the tray. Drizzle olive oil over the bread. Add the smashed garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Bake the in the oven for 10-15 min or until bread is golden brown and crispy. Set aside bread.
Bring a large pot with water to the boil. Add salt to the water and add your asparagus. Depending on the thickness of your asparagus spears blanch them for 1-3 min, or until they still have a white core. You can check this at the base. Take the asparagus out of the water and place the cooked spears straight into a bowl with ice water. Drain the asparagus. You can leave them whole or cut them in pieces.
Put the asparagus into a big bowl. Season with salt and pepper (not too much salt, as the ricotta adds quite a bit of saltiness in the end.) Add some grated lemon zest, along with the herbs, bread, lemon juice and olive oil and combine all the ingredients.
To serve lay the combined ingredients out on a big plate or platter and finish with crumbled ricotta and drizzles of vin cotto.
* Vin cotto is a sweet wine vinegar made from slow cooked unfermented grape must.
Recipe by Sabine Splindler
Otherwise known as ricotta salata this is a fine substitute for parmesan, and can be used in pizzas, pastas or goes very well with a salad of broad beans, peas, mint and a soft boiled egg.
Makes approximately 500 g
500 g homemade ricotta
½ cup fine sea salt
Form the ricotta into a shape similar to a stick of butter and rub all over with the salt.
Place in the oven at the lowest possible temperature setting and leave overnight. Repeat this for 3 or 4 nights, turning the ricotta over each night. During the day, take the ricotta out of the oven and it will continue to dry out.
The ricotta should end up firm like a hard cheese.
Store in the fridge, wrapped in muslin or baking paper, in a plastic container. Should last for around 3 months.
Recipe by Kristen Allan