Last weekend we rode our bikes over to Rucola for dinner, a neighborhood corner restaurant, and felt incredibly lucky that the only two sidewalk tables were empty despite the bustling crowd inside. The heat and mosquitoes were keeping people away from the adorable outdoor two-tops but we were armed with bug spray and a willingness to sacrifice feeling hot for these coveted seats.
Rucola always impresses us and tonight was no different, especially the peach salad on special. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to replicate this simple salad at home. We're fans of ricotta in our salads but have never thought to whip it, which adds a whole other level of creaminess. The crunchy hazelnuts offer a necessary contrast to the smoothness of the cheese and peaches while the savory olive oil bites the back of your throat. This recipe does involve turning the oven on for a few minutes, but is otherwise a nice summer starter or side dish.
RECIPE: Whipped Ricotta & Peach Salad
Serves 2 as a starter or side
- 1/8 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1 ripe peach sliced into bite-size wedges
- handful each of purslane and basil leaves
- flaky sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- quality olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pop the hazelnuts in for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool, remove the skin, roughly chop and set aside.
- In the meantime, whip the ricotta with a couple pinches of sea salt and a quick crack of black pepper in your food processor for 30 seconds. The result should be smooth and creamy.
- To plate: spread the ricotta on a plate, place peach slices on top of the cheese, scatter the hazelnuts and herbs, sprinkle a couple pinches of sea salt and finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil.