By Magdalena Roze
If you’ve never made your own cheese before, then ricotta is the perfect one to begin with. It’s not only very easy, but the leftover “whey” is nutritious and a great ingredient for baking things like scones, as a replacement for stock in risotto, or a boost to your smoothies. Plus, nothing compares to the smooth creaminess of homemade ricotta, trust me your friends will be impressed!
Seasonal farm vegetables with home made ricotta and carrot top salsa verde
2L milk (to make the ricotta)
white wine vinegar
1 bunch small baby carrots with tops
1 bunch radish, with leaves
Punnet of heirloom cherry tomatoes or two medium tomatoes
handful dill and parsley leaves, to garnish
Carrot and radish leaf salsa verde
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups carrot tops (leaves only) and radish leaves
1 cup parsley
1/4 cup dill
1 garlic, crushed
1 tbs dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 gherkin chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper
Makes 250-300 grams
2L organic, unhomogenised milk
3 tbs white vinegar or lemon juice
Cut the tops of the carrots and radish, leaving a couple of cm of stalk so they’re easy to pick up. Save the radish and carrot leaves for the salsa verde. Use the carrot leaves only as the stalks are a little full on. Now chop your carrots, radish, tomatoes and cucumbers to they’re chunky enough to pick up and scoop the ricotta. Place them all in a bowl, season with sea salt, toss in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and set aside to “quickle” for about 30 minutes or as long as you have.
Place the carrot and radish leaves, parsley, dill, garlic, mustard, vinegar, capers, gherkin, honey, and olive oil in a food processor and blitz until is forms a runny paste. Add more olive oil if necessary until it reaches your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too acidic, add a little more honey, half a teaspoon at a time.
Place your ricotta on a large serving dish and arrange your vegetables over the top in a nice colourful, mess. Drizzle over generously with the salsa verde and garnish with parsley and dill. If your entertaining, encourage your guests to eat with their hands. It always tastes better!
Note: Store the leftover salsa verde in the fridge and use as a delicious addition to salads.
Ricotta method: Place the milk in the pot and heat to 85 degrees or when you see steam and bubbles at the top.
Remove from heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice, stirring gently for about one minute. You will start to see the curds forming.
Cover with a cloth and set aside for as long as you can, 30 minutes to an hour, though you’ll start to see curds almost immediately.
Line a colander with muslim and place over a bowl large enough to hold the whey in the pot and strain the mixture. Leave the ricotta in the muslin for about half an hour so nay excess liquid drains.