April 28, 2011

Meatless Meals: Ricotta Love + Smoked Salmon mousse

Food 52

Guys: I am obsessed with Ricotta.  Why, exactly, don't I have this in the fridge at all times?  It is so versatile. I whip it into scrambled eggs, and spread it on toast with jam, or on sandwich rolls with leftover ham, or toss a bit into my pesto pasta to make it creamy without loosing its bite.  It's milder that chevre, easier and more diverse than cream cheese, less goopy than cottage cheese, and lasts longer than all three, in spite of the fact that I have made a dish with it ever day for the past two weeks.

I've mostly been using it as an addition/condiment to other dishes, but I think I am ready to let ricotta shine on its own.  I've had my eye on this feta, ricotta, mint and blood orange dish for ages--it would be perfect for a light spring dinner party.  And I am dying to try my hand at these lemon ricotta doughnuts. Plus, I am quite obsessed with the idea of baked ricotta.  But for all these great ideas, I think I'll make this ricotta cake (above) this weekend too, and serve it with my first batch of ice cream for the year (olive oil and lemon gelato!).  Serve it to whom, you ask?  Myself.

For all my newfound love, I only used it in one dish on Easter Sunday, though:
Smoked Salmon Mousse with Creme Fraiche and Ricotta

+ juice and zest on one Lemon
+ 3/4 lb Cold-smoked Salmon (can be the scrap pieces they sell at whole foods and other fish markets)
+ 1 cup Creme Fraiche
+ 2/3rd cup Ricotta
+ a splash of fruity Olive Oil
+ leaves from one sprig of fresh dill
+ lots of salt and pepper
+ 1 tablespoon caper berries, well drained (optional)
+ 3 Scallions, chopped, white and light green parts only (optional)

Put all ingredients but the scallions and capers into a food processor, and pulse until smooth and airy.  You will have to stop a couple of times to reincorporate by hand (at least, I do, though my machine is older than I am, so maybe that's why.).  Transfer all ingredients into a large bowl and mix-in by hand the capers and green onions.  Place in your serving bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap right on top to ensure it does not get crusty.  Place in refrigerator to set, at least 1/2 hour.  Garnish with extra dill to serve.

Salmon Mousse, on the left, with pea dip and strawberries in our Easter spread.

No comments:

Post a Comment