Favorite Salad

I absolutely LOVE summer for so many reasons but one of the main ones are the TOMATOES!!!!! They have been especially beautiful this year and I have eaten them almost every day for weeks now…..

Making a tomato salad is really quite simple and you literally can put whatever you like on it. I’ll share with you one of the ways I like to prepare my salad and hopefully you will enjoy all the yummy ingredients!

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TOMATO SALAD WITH RICOTTA CREAMA AND BASIL OIL (serves 4)

1 1/2 pounds vine ripe tomatoes (I like to mix the varieties such as cherry, beefsteak and heirlooms)

3 cups mixed greens

1 grilled or roasted corn on the cob

1/4 cup of spring onions (chopped)

4-5 slices of thick cut bacon, fried

Slice your tomatoes in wedges, cubes and/or large, thick slices…….the different shapes make the salad look more interesting. :)

Smear the ricotta creama on the salad plate with a rubber spatula, you won’t need more than about two tablespoons per plate. This is just making a nice coating for the greens to sit on. Next, place a small hand full of the mixed greens on the plate and arrange the tomatoes in a bit of a pile. Scrape the roasted corn off the cob and sprinkle over each salad. Do the same with the crumbled bacon and the spring onions. Once your salad is assembled, sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste over the entire plate. Take a teaspoon or so of the creama and place on top of the salad and then drizzle with basil oil. YUM!!!!

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BASIL OIL

2 cups packed basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest

1 cup olive oil

salt to taste

Blanche the basil leaves in boiling water for no more than about 30 seconds

remove leaves from hot water and place in an ice bath for two-three minutes

Using a cheese cloth, stain the water from the basil and place leave in the blender

Slowly add the olive oil to the blender as you pulse and then add in the lemon zest and the salt.

The oil will be a beautiful, bright green color and can be used on many dishes besides your tomato salad.

RICOTTA CREAMA

12 OZ fresh ricotta

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons of sugar (use less if you want more of a “cheese” flavor)

Whisk all ingredients together until it thickens. About three to four minutes

If you have a sieve, you can push the creama through it but otherwise just place it in a bowl and refrigerate

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Barri Thompson