Tomato, ri­cotta and fre­gola salad

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 15 MINS // COOK 20 MINS (PLUS COOL­ING)

We’ve baked some of the ri­cotta in this salad to add tex­ture, and kept the re­main­ing fresh for its beau­ti­ful creami­ness. This is cer­tainly a meal in its own right, but it would also be ex­cel­lent served along­side grilled bis­tecca.

400 gm firm ri­cotta 125 ml (½ cup) ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil ½ tsp dried chilli flakes Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½, or to taste 200 gm fre­gola (see note) 1 small gar­lic clove, finely chopped 1 tbsp bal­samic vine­gar 2 heir­loom toma­toes, cut into wedges 200 gm mixed cherry toma­toes, halved or quar­tered ½ cup (loosely packed) mint ½ cup (loosely packed) basil ½ cup (loosely packed) baby rocket

1 Pre­heat oven to 200°C. Crum­ble half the ri­cotta over a bak­ing tray, driz­zle with 2 tbsp oil, scat­ter with chilli and half the lemon rind, sea­son to taste and bake un­til golden on the edges (10-12 min­utes). Cool.

2 Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted wa­ter to the boil. Add fre­gola to a large fry­ing pan over medium-high heat and dry-roast, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til golden

(8-10 min­utes). Trans­fer to saucepan and boil un­til al dente (8-10 min­utes). Drain well and trans­fer to a bowl, stir in 2 tsp oil and cool to room tem­per­a­ture.

3 Com­bine gar­lic, vine­gar, lemon juice and re­main­ing rind and re­main­ing oil in a jar, sea­son to taste and stand for 5 min­utes for gar­lic to soften and mel­low. Just be­fore serv­ing, seal jar and shake well.

4 Add toma­toes, herbs, rocket and baked ri­cotta to fre­gola, driz­zle with dress­ing, sea­son and toss to coat. Serve scat­tered with re­main­ing fresh ri­cotta.

Note Fre­gola is avail­able from se­lect del­i­catessens and Ital­ian gro­cers. If it’s not avail­able, sub­sti­tute risoni or freekeh (cook­ing time may vary).

Wine sug­ges­tion Pale, dry rosato.

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