Your food represents you on a plate! Make sure you present your food well. You will adore this creation and the clean simplicity of the ingredients.
This will be one of the easiest salads you will ever create. If you are looking for something a little different for your palate, add this to your rotation. I had the blessed privilege to be in the presence of one of the greatest chefs to grace this Earth. Chef Ryan Hidinger. Chef Ryan and his wife Jen would host underground dinners at their home. It was a prelude to their restaurant, Staplehouse. I would wait with anticipation for the email to arrive announcing the dinner and you had to respond quickly because space was very limited. I was lucky to be front and center at least 4 times. The food was amazing. The ambiance was amazing. Ryan and Jen were pure souls and so very welcoming of strangers, who became family in their homes. Every single morsel and drop of wine that I consumed was beyond memorable and has left an indelible impression. At every dinner, you were served 4 courses paired with wine or beer. I took pictures at every dinner so I could remember my experience. This is one of the pics I took of the menu with the local tomato salad was served. The ingredients were simple yet explosive. The dinner itself….BEAUTIFUL. I remember it as if it was yesterday.
I’ve tried to recreate several meals, from memory, and this is one of them. Of course it will never match the genius of Chef Ryan, but it is my version and my nod to his greatness. Sadly, Chef Ryan passed away on January 9, 2014. Staplehouse is a thriving, beast of a restaurant located in Atlanta, Georgia.
I added a little twist of fresh carrot puree which is completely optional. During the moment of creating this, I thought the color was needed and it added a different flavor profile to the dish. Have fun with this, as I did.
RIP Chef Ryan Hidinger
Tomato salad with herbed ricotta and spicy pickled okra
- 16 ounces Whole Milk Ricotta can substitute with light ricotta
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 2 tbsp Scallions minced (white and green parts)
- 2 tbsp Flat-leaf parsley minced
- 2 tbsp Dill minced
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup Cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 cup *Pickled Okra sliced in half lengthwise
- Arugula or watercress garnish
Combine all the ricotta ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until mixed. Change to the whip attachment and whip until light and fluffy. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Slice cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
Slice pickled okra in half lengthwise and set aside.
Rinse arugula or watercress and dry.
Place ricotta mixture in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip OR use a ziplock bag and cut the tip with scissors. Pipe mixture onto place. Place cherry tomatoes, pickled okra and the garnish on top of the ricotta mixture.
*Pickled okra can be found in your local grocery or specialty food stores.