Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fresh Ricotta and Tomato Salad with Maldon Salt

You need Maldon salt in your house.¬†Especially if you like fresh tomatoes. Right now I have so many gorgeous local tomatoes, and the pop that you can get on very simple, raw ingredients like a slice of tomato from flaky Maldon salt is just amazing. Today’s lunch was a distillation of summer itself!

Aside from simply being a tasty natural salt, lacking in the metallic flavor of processed versions, one thing that sets Maldon apart is that it’s flaky. For some reason, the ocean washes up on certain shores of England and then evaporates in a way that leaves the salt crystals flakilicious. The flakiness is what makes Maldon a great finishing salt – perfect for thin slices of vegetables, raw fish, or crostini amongst many other things. Here I made an attempt at artsy, dare I say back-lit photography so that you might see the flakes on top of the tomato.

So there I stood in the kitchen after database work, laundry and a 2 hour workout with a warm, sun-soaked, beloved summer tomato in one hand, and another trying to reach into some kind of magical, wood stoked pizza jar. I knew I’d love the tomato, but needed a way to get some protein and substance, not to mention an antidote to my white knuckled fist. I then remembered the fresh ricotta I had picked up for dessert on Saturday. There was some left over!

It may not look like much, but it was a super satisfying. The subtle (or not so depending on your leanings) differences – real tomatoes, fresh whole milk ricotta, and Maldon salt – made this very simple plate into a fabulous summer lunch. I wish you the same!!


Summer Tomatoes with Ricotta and Maldon

Yield: 1 salad

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes

Couldn't be easier, and Maldon flakes are so effective, you can use them very sparingly. Go ahead and enjoy fresh, whole milk ricotta - it's a battle worth picking : )


1 falling off the vine backyard tomato, or as close as you can get (not refrigerated!)
1/3 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 pinches fresh julienned basil that dried out in a dish since your dinner party 4 days ago
1 mini pinch Maldon salt flakes
cracked black pepper


- slice tomato and shingle on plate so that it's appealing, but loose enough that most of each slice will get salt, pepper and herbage
- scoop cheese onto plate
- crack pepper and sprinkle salt sparingly (hold your hand high over the plate - that helps ensure more even seasoning) onto tomatoes
- sprinkle basil over everything and enjoy with a piece of toast or wheat baguette; glass of pinto noir rose highly recommended


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