Tomato and Ricotta Salad

Recipe by Chef Kate
READY IN: 35mins




  • For the ricotta:
  • In a heavy saucepan, warm the milk, buttermilk and nutmeg over high heat; stir the mixture frequently until it reaches 120 degrees (warm to the touch), about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Now stir occasionally; the milk will begin to separate; when it reaches 175 degrees to 180 degrees, about 1 to 2 minutes, gently scrape the bottom of the saucepan; the curds will rise to the top; cook at 180 degrees for 1 minute.
  • Line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl or pot large enough to catch the liquid from the cheese and pour the contents of the saucepan into the strainer.
  • Gently stir in the Parmesan and salt while the mixture is still hot.
  • Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and tie it up with string and let it drain for 15 minutes.
  • Once the ricotta is at room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use (makes 1 cup).
  • For the croutons:
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Tear the baguette into chunks, toss lightly with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until golden (makes 2 cups).
  • For the assembly of the salad:
  • Cut the tomatoes (which you have NOT refrigerated)into different shapes and sizes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste; drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil; and arrange on serving plates.
  • Drizzle the tomatoes with the aged balsamic vinegar.
  • Scatter the croutons and torn basil atop the tomatoes.
  • Top each salad with two quenelles of ricotta cheese (use two tablespoons to form the cheese into ovals, each about a tablespoon of cheese).