Welcome back to Fatassapalooza! I’d like to write that things are moving smoothly (cue the probiotics) and I’ve dropped a pound a day. I’m not sure if I like the sound of bragging about that because I actually did it or because it would make you feel bad that you’ve been a slacker and eating pints of Ben & Jerry’s like you bought them at a fire sale (yep, I can be bitchy like that). But that’s not the case. In fact, I have no idea if anything has happened (of course this just started 2 days ago – note I’m making excuses already) because I haven’t gotten on the scale, I’m wearing nothing but elastic waist pants and I know it’s getting close to that “special time” because my boobs have grown 2 sizes (no, a diet does not make your boobs grow).
I wanted to make something that was bright and cheery with a ton of flavor so that my mouth and taste buds wouldn’t be bored. That, and so my belly would be happy. I knew Craig would like it. It pretty much works like this: I make something, plate it up, hand it to Craig and he eats it. Sometimes I hear moaning coming from him (occasionally I need to verify that it is him and not the dog) and sometimes I hear nothing. The moans mean he loves it, silence means he likes it. Every now and then I get: “What is this?” That signals that he doesn’t like it and is his way of accusing me of trying to poison him through his food. Sometimes I gotta do that to him just to keep him on his toes. (You have to mix some bad in there so they know what good really is.)
I recently had a cherry tomato salad on a fishing trip I took with a bunch of LA chefs and other food industry people. Yes, the food on that trip was not your usual beer and chips stuff. Each chef (and these were some of the top chefs from some of the best restaurants in LA and Las Vegas) brought one of their favorite dishes. Nothing overly fancy, since it had to travel well and be served out of a cooler, but really flavorful. Chef David Lefevre (of MB Post) brought his wonderful tomato salad recipe that’s topped with a light as air lemon ricotta. I couldn’t get enough of it. I told him that I’d be re-creating his cherry tomato salad for my blog because I had to share this light and refreshing salad.
I can hear you asking yourself a couple of questions, so let me help you clear some of those brain cells for more important things. Yes, you can use lemon ricotta for things other than pancakes, cheesecakes and muffins. Maybe I should make up some t-shirts that say: Lemon Ricotta…it’s not just for breakfast anymore. Ricotta cheese is not the horrific diet saboteur you would think it would be: 2 tablespoons of part-skim ricotta cheese is 40 calories, 2.3 g fat, 2 g carbs and 2.5 g protein. Don’t be turned off because of the fat found in the lemon ricotta. This cherry tomato salad is chock full of vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin (that means your body needs some fat consumed with the vitamin A for it to be absorbed properly).
This tomato salad recipe is kind of free form. I’ll give you actual measurements, to get you started, but you can really play with this recipe and make it as big or as small you would like. You can serve this as an appetizer, side dish or a light main course…you decide.
Sometimes Craig bears the brunt of my sarcasm and pointed jabs, trust me it goes both ways, but we know (deep down) that we both really love each other.
If you follow any other food bloggers you probably have heard/read about the sudden, and unexpected, death of Jennifer Perillo‘s husband. I have never met Jennifer (we follow each other on Twitter) but can only imagine what she is going through.
Craig and I also experienced an unexpected death of someone close to us, which I talked about this past February. Words can not describe the feeling. All I can say is that time makes things better and the support of your friends is critical.
It’s been said a million times this week, but it bears repeating one more time: hug and tell those people that are close to you how much you love them, every day, like it’s the last time you will ever be able to.
Recipe: Cherry Tomato Salad with Lemon Ricotta
Summary: My version of Chef David LeFevre’s tomato salad
- 1 Pound Cherry Tomatoes (cleaned)
- 1 Pound Lemon Pear Tomatoes (cleaned)
- Opal Basil (for garnish)
- 1 Cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Capers (drained)
- 1 Small Shallot (sliced thin)
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- In a medium size bowl add the lemon juice and zest to the ricotta cheese and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Set cheese aside or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a small container mix the dressing ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide tomatoes between 2 or 4 bowls, making sure to mix the tomatoes so that the bowls are visually appealing.
- Spoon the dressing over the top of the tomatoes.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of the lemon ricotta on top of each bowl of tomatoes.
- Top with some of the purple opal basil.
You could use any mixture of small colorful tomatoes for this salad.
Preparation time: 15 Minutes
Cooking time: 0 Minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (General)