A layer of ricotta topped with smoky sweet and soft strips of red pepper is a perfect sharing plate for summer. It is finished off with light scatterings of capers, black olives, pistachio nuts, fresh basil leaves and of course a drizzle of olive oil. I can think of nothing more welcoming during a summer alfresco night in the garden.
How to roast the red peppers
- Wash and drop the peppers.
- Prepare a baking tray with baking paper and spray it lightly with non-stick baking spray
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Lay the peppers on top of the baking paper.
- Place the tray in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes until they are slightly charred.
- Remove from the oven, then place them in a bag and allow them to cool down completely.
- The stem released from the flesh forms a barrier between the flesh and skin.
- Once they are completely cool, the skin can be pulled away so easily
- Cut the pepper flesh into long strips
For the ricotta and red pepper salad will need:
6 red peppers
a few fresh basil leaves
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon capers
6 olives, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon pistachios, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fine pecorino shavings
2 tablespoons olive oil
Assembling the red pepper and ricotta salad
Place the ricotta in the serving dish and mash it up until it is smooth and consistent.
Flatten the surface and then season with salt and pepper, add some grated lemon zest and the dried basil.
Arrange the strips of cooked red peppers in a criss-cross pattern over the plate. Finish off with the capers, chopped up olives. Just before serving, dry roast the pistachios and scatter on the top, grate some more fresh lemon zest and finish off with olive oil and some salad leaves and fine shavings of pecorino.
Ricotta and Pecorino Cheese by Hanini
Photos: Paul Camilleri at Pix by P