TC Recipe: Baby Vegetables, Home Made Ricotta and Yuzu Marinated Strawberry

August 15 2013

By Executive Chef Benjamin Nadolny
Suggested Pairing: 2012 NxNW Horse Heaven Hills Riesling
Serves 4

Baby Veg with Ricotta

I know I’m not the only one with a garden filling fast with vegetables. The summer sun quickly overfills our refrigerators and countertops with an overwhelming amount of fresh produce. This simple combination of flavors is perfect for a fresh summer bite and a glass of Riesling. It also gives us a reason to harvest some of our vegetables early. The only complicated piece of this recipe is the ricotta. It is a very approachable fresh cheese to make at home, and could easily become the only way you will eat ricotta. Yuzu can be found at your local Asian market. If none is available, then use more Riesling in the recipe and add a tiny pinch of lemon zest to it. The yuzu is fun because it offers a piney, terpene flavor that compliments the dry honey notes in the wine. Any of these vegetables can be substituted with whatever you are harvesting at the time. Feel free to add fresh basil, mint, and chives to this plate too. Enjoy! – Executive Chef Benjamin Nadolny

Ingredients

Ricotta:

  • 3 ½ cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ¾ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tb Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 foot Cheese Cloth

Yuzu Strawberries:

  • ½ pint Strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tsp Yuzu Juice
  • 1 Tb Riesling
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper, fresh cracked
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 4 each Baby Beets, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 each Baby Radish, wedge
  • 4 each Asparagus Spears, sliced thin
  • 4 each Baby Zucchini or Yellow Squash, sliced
  • 4 each Baby Carrots, halved
  • 4 each Pieces of Cauliflower, sliced

Preparation

Ricotta:
1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pot slowly bring the milk and cream to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use a double boiler set up if you have one. It is important to stir slowly, but frequently to avoid milk solids burning to the bottom
2. While the milk is warming fold the cheese cloth to create a double layer. Wet the cheese cloth with water and lay over a strainer or colander. Wetting helps it to stick to the colander so it won’t move when the curds are poured over it.
3. At 180 degrees stir in the salt. Next, slowly stir in the lemon juice. You will see the milk break, curdle. You can stop stirring.
4. Gently pour the broken liquid over the colander with the cheese cloth. Allow to slowly drain as you are adding more.
5. When all the liquid is through allow to rest and drain at room temp for 10 minutes or so.
6. Place colander over a bowl or container and put in your refrigerator to finish draining. Allow to drain for several hours, or overnight
7. Scrape off ricotta and put in a plastic container with a lid. You did it!

Yuzu Strawberries and Baby Vegetables:
1. Blend the yuzu juice, Riesling, and honey in a bowl with a whisk. Add a pinch of black pepper. Add the strawberries and gently spoon the liquid over them. Set aside in the refrigerator to marinate for 10 minutes.
2. Prepare the baby vegetables, and fresh herbs if desired
3. Plate the ricotta, spoon the marinated strawberries over it.
4. Plate the vegetables around the ricotta
5. Sprinkle the whole dish lightly with coarse sea salt, and drizzle the olive oil over them as well.