RECIPES
Baked ricotta, tomatoes, saffron
12-24 hours
Preparation time
35 minutes, plus 5 hours drying
Cooking time
6
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INGREDIENTS

Ricotta

2 litres milk (best quality available)
400 ml cream
100 ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt flakes

Dressing

4 shallots, finely diced
2 large red chillies, deseeded and finely diced
8 parsley stalks, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane
6 sprigs of thyme, finely chopped
1 large pinch of saffron
70 ml red wine vinegar
180 ml olive oil
1 tsp honey

Dried tomatoes

2 punnets cherry tomatoes

Tomato salad

800 g mixed heirloom tomatoes
1 fennel bulb
2 cups flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
2 cups wild rocket
Day old bread

METHOD

Ricotta

  1. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Using medium-high heat, induction setting 7, gently bring up to 85°C. Once it has reached temperature, remove from heat.
  2. Slowly add the vinegar and salt and gently stir in with a ladle. Stir in a circular up and down motion, until the milk is visibly split. Rest for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Line a colander with muslin cloth and place over a bowl, leaving enough room underneath for the whey to drain from the curds. Slowly ladle the curds into the colander in batches, wait briefly for the whey to drain before adding more curds into it. Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator. The drier the ricotta the better it will bake.
  4. Preheat oven on Full Grill at 250°C.
  5. Crumble the ricotta into large pieces and place onto a grilling and roasting insert over a multi-purpose tray. Try not to leave too much room between the ricotta pieces.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and place into the oven on shelf position 4. Grill for 4-5 minutes to achieve a crunchy caramelised top. Remove and leave to cool.

Dried tomatoes

  1. Preheat the warming drawer on Food Setting 5 for 15 minutes.
  2. Line a perforated baking tray with baking paper. Place halved cherry tomatoes cut side up onto the tray.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can also add some chopped herbs to the tomatoes before drying if you have some to use up or in the garden. Place into the warming drawer and let dry for 5 hours.

Dressing

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the oil. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix in the olive oil. The dressing is ready but will benefit from sitting to allow flavours to develop.

Tomato salad

  1. Shave the fennel on a mandolin or slice finely and plunge into iced water immediately. Leave for 10 minutes, then drain well. Dry in a salad spinner.
  2. Preheat the oven on Fan Plus at 180°C.
  3. Slice bread as thinly as possible. Brush a lined baking tray with some olive oil. Lay the bread down in a single layer. Brush the tops with a little more olive oil and season with salt.
  4. Place in the oven on shelf position 3 and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  5. Randomly cut the heirloom tomatoes into whatever shape you like, chunky is good.

To serve

  1. Place the fresh tomatoes in a mixing bowl with the fennel, dried tomatoes, dried bread and two thirds of the parsley and rocket. Add some dressing and seasoning. Keep the dressing light at this stage.
  2. Mix and serve onto a large plate. Place over the rest of the leaves and crumble over the ricotta (you may not need all of it, the yield will depend on the quality of the milk).
  3. Drizzle over some extra dressing and serve.

Hints and tips

  • The dressing can be stored for 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • The recipe will make excess dressing; the extra can be served in a small dish on the table, or kept for another day.
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