Everything · Recipes

An Idea for Your Summer Tomatoes!

I stumbled upon this cookbook, Salad Samurai, thanks to Amazon recommending it based upon the contents of my cart, and I was immediately sold from the title alone.  And I’m very happy to report that everything I have tried so far (probably 5-7 different salads), have all been amazing, and also approved by Scott.  If you’re into salads, I totally recommend it – there are TONS of different new dressings, unique and tasty toppings, and just overall salad combinations, pairing fabulous flavors together that are original and will blow your mind (not to mention delicious).  They are a little bit of work, usually 30-45 min, but to me they’ve been worth the effort.  Anyhow, I made one today for lunch that was really fast and easy AND uses those delicious summer garden or farmers’ market tomatoes!  It’s a great (vegan) spin on the traditional Caprese salad!

Herbed Pea Ricotta, Tomatoes & Basil (serves 3-4)
Green Pea Ricotta
2 cups frozen peas, thawed for 6 hours or overnight in the fridge
1/2 cup unroasted cashews
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, basil, or dill (I used basil)

Salad
2 lb juicy, perfectly ripe tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Few twists freshly ground black pepper

1. While the peas thaw, soak the cashews with the water in a glass container in the refrigerator (I totally didn’t see this step until I was ready to make this and only let them soak about 10 minutes while I prepared everything else and it turned out fine).

2. Drain the cashews and transfer to a food processor.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pulse into a thick paste, occasionally scraping down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

3. Add the peas and chopped fresh herbs to the cashews. Pulse and scrape into a fluffy, smooth paste.  Taste the pea ricotta and add more lemon and salt if needed (I added more of both).  Transfer to a container, tightly cover, and chill for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to blend.

4. When ready to serve, slice the tomatoes into thick slabs and arrange on a serving plate.  Top each slice with a generous dollop of pea ricotta and garnish with a basil leaf.  Drizzle each slice with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and dust with a garnish of freshly ground black pepper.  Serve as is or with slices of crusty bread and enjoy!

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