“This reminds us of going to the local caseficio (cheesemaker) every Saturday morning to pick up fresh warm ricotta. With the ‘fatty’ bio fiano from Ocone, it’s a real blast.” Giovanni Paradiso, 10 William Street
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandolin
- 660 ml mild extra-virgin olive oil
- 125 ml (½ cup) white wine vinegar
- 1 eggplant, peeled in stripes, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 6 baby beetroot, trimmed
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bunches Dutch carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
- 20 heirloom cherry tomatoes
- ½ long red chilli, thinly sliced
- 5 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- To serve: baby basil
- 2 litres (8 cups) milk
- 250 gm plain yoghurt
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1For ricotta, heat milk in a large saucepan to 90C on a thermometer. Whisk through yoghurt, lemon juice and 2 tsp sea salt. Remove from heat, set aside until curds form (15-20 minutes). Strain curds through a large sieve lined with muslin, then set aside until firm (2-3 hours).
- 2Meanwhile, place beetroot and garlic in a deep baking dish, cover with water and set aside to infuse (2 hours). Preheat oven to 180C. Cover beetroot with foil and roast until tender (50 minutes-1 hour). Drain, then, when cool enough to handle, peel, halve, place in a small bowl and cover with 250ml oil.
- 3Meanwhile, simmer vinegar and 1 litre water in a saucepan over medium heat, add eggplant and simmer until tender (5-10 minutes). Drain well, cool, then cut into quarters. Place in a bowl with oregano, cover with 125ml oil and set aside to marinate (1 hour).
- 4Meanwhile, heat 60ml oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add tomato and cook until starting to soften (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl with chilli and basil, cover with 60ml olive oil, set aside to marinate (1 hour).
- 5Meanwhile, preheat a char-grill pan over high heat, drizzle zucchini with 2 tbsp olive oil, season to taste and char-grill, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes). Place in a bowl with remaining 60ml oil and set aside.
- 6Blanch carrots until tender (2-3 minutes), refresh, drain and set aside.
- 7To serve, remove vegetables from oil with a slotted spoon, season to taste, arrange on plates and top with ricotta and baby basil.
This recipe is from the September 2011 issue of .
Drink Suggestion: 2009 Ocone Oca Bianca Fiano, Campania, Italy.