Apple, Fennel, Celery, and Radish Salad with Handmade Ricotta
Source: Daniel Corey, Luce
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 9, 2014.
Ricotta (makes 2 quarts)
3 quarts whole milk
1 quart buttermilk
1 quart heavy cream
Salt to taste
1 bulb fennel
3 celery ribs
3 cups ricotta
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
2 apples (preferably Gravenstein)
1. To make the ricotta, combine the milk, buttermilk and cream in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot. Slowly bring to a scalding temperature over low heat. At this temperature, the curds and whey will separate. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest for one minute.Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a deep bowl. Slowly ladle the contents of the pot into the strainer. Allow the curds to drain. The longer the curds sit in the strainer, the thicker the cheese will become. If you prefer it creamy, let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before transferring to a bowl, and gently fold in salt to taste. It’s absolutely delicious when served warm and fresh! It can, however, be stored in the refrigerator for about a week once it has cooled down.
2. Shave the fennel bulb very thinly on a mandolin and place in a bowl of ice water. Remove all the leaves from the celery ribs, reserving in the ice water, and shave the celery ribs thinly on the mandolin. Set the shaved celery in the ice water as well. Repeat with the radish.
3. While the vegetables are “crisping” in the ice water, combine the mustard, salt, sugar, and vinegar in a stainless steel bowl. Gently whisk to combine, then slowly drizzle in the canola oil until the dressing is emulsified. Stir in the mustard seed.
4. Drain the vegetables. Slice the apples. Place the vegetables and apple slices in a bowl large enough to toss lightly with dressing. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
5. To serve, divide the ricotta evenly onto four plates, arrange the sliced apples and shaved vegetables on top, and garnish with the celery leaves.
Photo by Jennifer Kregear.