July 12, 2021
Eating cooling foods such as yogurt and watermelon in the summer and warming foods — think peppers and squashes — in the winter is one of the most fundamental tenets of Ayurveda. It’s what keeps our digestive fire under control. However, when warming foods such as gorgeous heirloom tomatoes appear in the summer, the best way to eat them is to combine them with cooling foods including yogurt, ricotta or fennel seeds. The season for tasty, sweet heirloom tomatoes is short — enjoy them while you can. Once summer gets hotter, and we know it will, local tomatoes will be gone.
This tomato ricotta masala packs a bit of heat with the Calabrian chiles but will keep in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Smear it on a piece of toast or waffle for breakfast or place small dollops on cucumber slices for an appetizer.
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 pound heirloom tomatoes (cherry or large), sliced in half or in small chunks
1 tablespoon chopped Calabrian red chile in oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup mint or basil leaves, roughly chopped
6 pieces of warm toast
Place the ricotta cheese in a strainer with a bowl underneath it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Discard the excess liquid that drains off and place the ricotta in a mixing bowl.
In a small frying pan over high heat, warm the olive oil, add the garlic and pop the fennel seeds.Immediately add the tomatoes (leaving just a few for garnish), red chile, and salt.
Continue cooking on high heat until the liquid from the tomatoes has concentrated, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tomatoes rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, combine with the ricotta and chopped herbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve, smear over warm toast, garnish with sliced tomatoes, and herb sprigs and serve.Drizzle a touch of olive oil for a luxurious finish.
For a milder version, leave out the red chile or replace with a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Add toasted pine nuts on top for a crunchy finish.
Instead of basil or mint, try using cilantro or parsley for a more savory flavor.
December 02, 2022