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  /    /  Baked Ricotta & Spring Garden Salad

Baked Ricotta & Spring Garden Salad

By Jess Marshall, Chef-Owner of Stoke Deli Bar, located inside Bushel & Peck in St. Catharines.

This is a fantastic salad that can really evolve with the seasons from early spring right into summer. It makes use of even the most modest harvest of veggies from the garden, and holds up well to any creative substitutions you might like to make throughout the year.

Pairs with: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc
Serves 4

Baked Ricotta

  • 180g ricotta
  • 1 whole egg
  • Lemon zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated parmesan
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • A few gratings of nutmeg
  • Pinch Salt

Salad

  • 1 cup cooked black rice (or grain of your preference)
  • 1/4 cup petit pois
  • 1/4 cup edamame
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 handfuls soft herbs (whatever is looking good in the garden, but basil, mint dill, and cilantro all work particularly well here)

Dressing

  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 glug of high quality olive oil

Instructions

Prepare the Salad: Snap the asparagus spears, discarding the woody ends. Trim the spears 2-3 inches from the top, making nice, uniform spears, finely chopping the remaining spear. Blanch in a pot of boiling, salted water, for 45 seconds before refreshing in an ice bath. Once fully chilled, pat them dry and set aside for garnishing the final dish. Combine the remaining salad ingredients and set aside.

Prepare the Ricotta: Pre-heat oven to 425º. Combine all of the baked ricotta ingredients and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet (large dollops work too, that part doesn’t need to be precise). Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden.

To Serve: Combine the salad and dressing components, plate with the baked ricotta, and garnish with blanched asparagus spears and herbs and edible flowers from the garden.

Want to impress and take this recipe to the next level? Try this alternate dressing made with Rose Gastrique!

Alternate Rose Gastrique Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons rose gastrique
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 glug of high-quality olive oil

How to make Rose Gastrique:

  • 2 Tablespoons dried rose petals (Al-Noor in St. Catharines is a great source for these)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • ½ cup cider vinegar

Make the Gastrique: In a small pot, combine all ingredients but the rose petals, bring to a simmer, reducing by half. Remove from the heat and add
the rose petals. Allow to cool to room temperature.

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