One of our New Year's resolutions this year is to eat more salads: the super fresh ricotta and kiwi salad from The Progress is one we could eat every single day.
But be forewarned: you can't just whip up this salad for a quick lunch. "Super fresh ricotta" means making your own ricotta fresh from scratch. Good thing eating more cheese is also one of our resolutions.
Super Fresh Ricotta, Kiwi, Fennel, Celery + Rosemary Almonds
FOR THE RICOTTA
4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup buttermilk
½ each lemon, juiced
40% by weight Crème Fraiche (not more than an 8 ounce container)
0.5% by weight Kosher salt
1. In a medium pot, combine all the ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning.
2. Gradually bring the mixture up to 185° F and hold it at that temperature until it curdles.
3. Once the mixture curdles, the whey will separate from the solids, approximately 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth lined colander and let cool for about 30 minutes.
5. Once cooled, weigh the mixture and fold in 40% by weight crème fraiche and 0.5% by weight kosher salt. Use immediately.
FOR THE ROSEMARY OIL
4 sprigs rosemary, broken in half
1 cup grapeseed oil
1. In a small pot, combine the rosemary and grapeseed oil.
2. Over low heat, gently bring the oil to a very low simmer, until you begin to see small bubbles rising from the bottom.
3. Turn the heat off. Let sit for at least 2 hours, and up to 4 hours. Cool completely before using.
FOR THE ROSEMARY ALMONDS
½ cup almonds, toasted and halved (preferably Massa Organics Almonds)
1 sprig rosemary, fried, leaves removed, and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Maldon salt
2 tablespoons rosemary oil
1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss until well incorporated.
2. Reserve until ready to use.
FOR THE MEYER LEMON VINAIGRETTE
¼ cup Meyer Lemon juice
½ clove garlic, microplaned
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
1. In a small bowl, combine the Meyer lemon juice, garlic and salt.
2. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream while whisking to emulsify the vinaigrette.
FOR THE GARLIC CHIPS
1 each Elephant garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups whole milk
Rice bran, vegetable, or canola oil for deep-frying
1. In a small pot, bring the thinly sliced garlic and milk to a slow simmer over medium low heat.
2. Strain the garlic into a colander and rinse with cold water. Pat the garlic chips dry with a paper towel.
3. Pour 2” of cooking oil in a wide and deep pot. Heat to 300° F.
4. Add the garlic chips and fry until they are crisp and pale yellow.
5. Place chips on a paper towel-lined rack and season with kosher salt.
TO FINISH THE DISH
4 each kiwis, peeled and quartered (preferably from Four Sisters Farm)
½ each fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced into 1/8” thick pieces
2 stalks celery, peeled, thinly sliced on a mandolin
½ cup Rosemary almonds
¼ cup garlic chips
Two handfuls each of mustards, chard leaves, fava leaves, pea shoots, pea tendrils.
1. In a small bowl, combine the fennel and celery and dress with the Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. Season with a little kosher salt and black pepper.
2. In a separate bowl, dress the greens in enough Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette to keep them vibrant and fresh. Season with a little kosher salt and black pepper.
3. On the bottom of a large platter, spoon the ricotta into the center of the plate. Place the kiwi into the ricotta, using the kiwi to slowly spread the ricotta onto the plate.
4. Sprinkle the rosemary almonds and garlic chips all around.
5. Add the fennel and celery salad to cover the kiwi.
6. Place the dressed greens on top of the entire dish.
7. Sprinkle with a touch of Maldon salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Omar Mamoon is the founder of Dough & Co.