This aesthetically beautiful salad dish by Russell Bateman is a myriad of flavours working together, and is inspired by the colourful vegetables found in the chef's own kitchen garden. Making your own ricotta is a fairly simple process, and the extra effort is bound to impress your guests. To make this glorious salad starter fully vegetarian use a rennet-free alternative to Parmesan in the nasturtium pesto.
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To make the ricotta, combine the milk and cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring the mixture to 82℃. Add the buttermilk and salt and continue to heat until it reaches 95°C, maintaining this heat for as long as possible. Strain the mixture through a colander and hang in a muslin, leaving to strain overnight
1l whole milk
250g of double cream
188g of buttermilk
4g of maldon salt
Meanwhile, prepare the dehydrated olives. Rinse the olives thoroughly and blanch in boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove from the pan and place in a colander to drain, patting dry if necessary
100g of black olives, pitted
Place the olives in a dehydrator overnight at 63°C. Once dried, blitz in a food processor to a fine crumb and set aside at room temperature until required
For the nasturtium pesto combine all of the ingredients together in a blender and blitz for 3 minutes until incorporated and emulsified. Transfer to a suitable container and set aside until ready to serve
4g of garlic
200g of nasturtium flowers and leaves
400g of rapeseed oil
4g of salt
100g of Parmesan
75 pine nuts, toasted
Blow torch the tomatoes until they begin to blister and refresh immediately in iced water. Once cool, gently remove the skins and slice the tomatoes into discs, wedges or dice depending on preference. Season well and set aside in a cool – but not cold – place until ready to serve
8 heirloom tomatoes, mixed colours
salt to taste
Wash the cucumbers and, leaving the skin on, slice both lengthways and across into large chunks. Dress with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste
2 cucumbers, baby
1 dash of olive oil
10ml of lemon juice
salt to season
For the vinaigrette, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to incorporate. Arrange the tomatoes on a tray and pour over the vinaigrette to dress
100g of olive oil, premium quality
25g of tomato vinegar
35g of ketchup, homemade is best
3g of sugar
2g of salt
To serve, divide the dressed tomatoes between serving plates and scatter over the cucumber pieces and generous dollops of ricotta. Drizzle the nasturtium pesto over the top and garnish with flowers and a dusting of the dehydrated black olive powder
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