Recipes Salad:

Fresh Ricotta & Asparagus Salad

Nina Clemente
Fresh Ricotta & Asparagus Salad


Fresh ricotta:
  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 quart buttermilk
  • Cheesecloth
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
Lemon champagne vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot (finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
Salad components
  • 1 bunch asparagus (preferably thick)
  • 1 head of raddichio
  • 2 handfuls wild arugula
  • Pistachios (toasted @350 for 5-7 minutes)
  • 3 tbl fresh mint (gently torn into pieces)
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)

The Prep

Fresh ricotta
Add milk, cream and buttermilk to a large pot. Heat over medium-low heat.  
Only stir occasionally so that the milk doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. Clip on a thermometer.
You can use a candy thermometer or an instant-read thermometer. Heat the milk mixture until it reaches 200 degrees. You’ll notice the curds separating from the whey.
Remove from the heat and let sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.
Pour the warm ricotta/whey mixture into a strainer lined with cheesecloth.
Stir the ricotta gently to help remove the liquid whey. Let drain for 1 to 2 hours.
Remove the ricotta from the cheesecloth into a bowl. Stir in salt to taste and the zest from 1 lemon.
Store the ricotta in glass containers with an airtight lid in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. Leftover can be added to pancake batter, spread on toast with a drizzle of honey and walnuts, stirred into a tomato sauce pasta or eaten straight from the jar!
Lemon champagne vinaigrette
Whisk lemon, shallot, champagne vinegar and salt and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Set aside until ready to use. 
Salad components
Pre-heat oven to 450.
Snap the end of one asparagus, then trim the rest according to where it naturally snaps.
If asparagus are thick peel the bottom half. If thin they can be left unpeeled.
Toss asparagus in extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Roast at 450 for 3 to 5 minutes until tender, (2 to 3 minutes for thin stalks). Taste asparagus to make sure they are tender.
Zest lemon and set aside. Then squeeze the lemon juice on top of asparagus and set aside to cool. Slice radicchio into 1/2 inch ribbons. Wash and dry arugula.
Building the salad*
Layer radicchio and arugula in a large platter. Top with cooled roasted asparagus.
Generously spoon lemon champagne vinaigrette all over the greens. Spoon fresh ricotta and scatter over the greens. Sprinkle toasted pistachios and fresh mint. Season with salt and lemon zest and enjoy!
*All ingredients (except the asparagus) can be prepped the day before. Pull out of fridge to bring the dressing and ricotta to room temperature before serving.
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