My love of cheese knows no bounds! Feta, cream cheese, cottage cheese, Brie, Camembert, Goat’s cheese or 24 month matured Parmigiano Reggiano, name it and I’ll be there with a bottle of wine to pair it with! Ricotta is so very versatile, I mainly use it as a substitute for cream in my pasta sauces, it makes the texture that more luxurious and velvety smooth. But ricotta is more than just an addition to a great sauce. I usually make my own from scratch which is rather easy and foolproof. I have a healthy obsession (excuse the pun) of knowing exactly what goes into my food same can be said for what goes into my body.
Beside making a really creamy sauce, if there’s any leftover Ricotta, I make blueberry ricotta hotcakes/flapjacks that I smother in lemon curd and bacon, because why not? This time I wanted to do something a bit different and at the same time keep it simple. Simplicity in food sometimes is the key.
I bought a fresh plain rusticata loaf at my local Woolworths and this time purchased my ricotta, instead of making it, and also spotted some lush green courgettes. I made a quick pickle (I used 1 cup of white wine vinegar to equal amounts of castor sugar) and two cloves, a few cumin seeds and a few drops of this amazing white balsamic vinegar(Sonoma Harvest Passion fruit White Balsamic vinegar) the quick pickle is a tad unconventional, but it’s all in the spirit of experimenting and playing around with flavours.
I added thin slices of Courgette and Pear to the pickle, allow to simmer on a low-medium heat to let the flavours fully permeate and the speedy process of pickling take place. Take off the heat and assemble on thickly spread Ricotta on crusty bread sprinkled with a pinch of sumac and toasted cumin seeds and finish with a sprig or two of mint. I’m so enamoured with the lip puckering taste and crunch of the courgettes, I do like the pickled pear, the variety I used was really sweet, the pickling balanced the flavour of the pear beautifully. I made an extra one with blueberries for another tart flavour combination. There are so many flavour combinations one can experiment with Ricotta.
The photos were taken just after noon. Only once I have looked at them on my computer screen, did I realize how similar in some ways it is to my previous post, The ultimate toastie. I hope this post will inspire and fuel you with ideas for your next get together with friends and family.