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Burnt Ricotta Salad

Burnt Ricotta Salad
YIELDS
6 servings

That’s right, burnt ricotta. Charred on a super-hot skillet– known as Argentinian chapa-style– the cheese develops a smoky flavour and crisp texture. Use it as a topping for this simple salad featuring peppery arugula, salty olives, and juicy cherry tomatoes.

Courtesy of L’Atelier d’Argentine’s Chef Natalia Machado, One World Kitchen, winner of Food Network’s Chopped and America’s Sweet Genius

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Ingredients

3
Tbsp red wine vinegar
1
tsp granulated sugar
5
Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12
oz (about 2 cups) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1
cup kalamata or sun-dried olives
10
oz ricotta salata
2
green serrano chilies
3
cups fresh arugula
½
tsp red chili flakes
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Directions

Step 1

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of the olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper (but remember that the olives and ricotta salata are quite salty). Add the cherry tomatoes and toss to coat. Remove the pits from olives and cut in half. Toss the olives with the tomatoes and place on a serving platter.

Step 2

Slice the ricotta salata into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces that are about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Place in a bowl. Add the whole chilies to the ricotta, and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil.

Step 3

Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat (or a chapa if you have one). Add the ricotta and chilies in batches, so they are not overcrowding the pan.

Step 4

Cook for 10 seconds without moving, and as soon as you see the cheese turning a rich golden colour on the bottom, flip and cook the other side. Remove the chilies as soon as they blister and slightly char.

Step 5

Roughly chop the chilies and break up the cheese. Place on the platter over the tomatoes and olives. Toss in the arugula, and sprinkle with the red chili flakes.

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