Friday, May 29, 2009

Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes & Basil Oil

It's the crossword puzzle's fault.

Longtime Actress Eve: _ _ DE _

Newspapers are dying across the country.  The Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News publish every day but will only deliver to your home three times a week.

Darin hit, "Beyond  the  _ _ A"

The Rocky Mountain news in Denver has gone out of business after more than 150 years of publishing.

vision or gram intro:  _ _ LE

The crossword puzzle clues tell you everything you need to know about the future of newspapers.  

I know circulation is way down.  I know it's too expensive to keep up home delivery. I know that anyone under the age of 40 gets their news from television.  I know everyone under the age of 25 gets their news from the Internet. But c'mon.

When was the last time you even thought of the name Eve Arden? She was a RADIO star in the late '40s. The last thing most people remember her for was "The Mothers-In-Law" with Kaye Ballard back in 1969.  She died 19 years ago.

Intro to vision and gram? A telegram? When was the last time anyone you knew got a telegram? How many of you even know what a telegram is? Here's a hint: Telegram - a hand-delivered, walking email.

Newspapers aren't dying, their readers are.

The killer is I'm one of those readers. I love flipping through the pages and finding some obscure story I'll never see on the Internet.  I love yelling at the idiots who write the opinion columns. I love seeing the box score with the neighbor kid's name in it. I love a snowy Sunday morning, a hot cup of coffee, a bagel with cream cheese, the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle and a pen. 

Oh yeah, a pen!

The times are changing and I'm starting to turn into the old guy who shakes his fist at the kids driving too fast. Getting old skool whether I want to or not.

Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes and Basil Oil originally called for purple basil and heirloom tomatoes (really old skool), both of which are nearly impossible to find this time of year. So instead, I'm using good old-fashioned green basil and cherry tomatoes. Later in the summer I'll try the original. If it's at all possible, use fresh ricotta cheese, it tastes like ice cream and adds a very tasty, subtle flavor. Enjoy...

Ricotta Salad with Tomatoes & Basil Oil
from delicious magazine, volume 5 issue 11 with a Crabby alteration

Basil Oil

1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

1 pound cherry tomatoes
4 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup black or nicoise olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the basil oil: 

In a large jar,  combine the finely chopped basil with the extra virgin olive oil (it is important to use the highest quality oil you have).  Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Seal the jar and shake to combine. Taste the oil and adjust the seasoning.  Set aside.

For the Salad:

Place the cherry tomatoes on a large platter. Spoon small dollops of the fresh ricotta over the tomatoes. (Use a small melon baller to approximate the size of your tomatoes.)

Scatter the chopped olives atop the tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle the salad with the basil oil.

Scatter the lemon zest over the salad and then sprinkle with the lemon juice.  At this point you may need to add more salt/pepper, depending on the saltiness of the ricotta. Garnish the salad with basil leaves.  

Serve immediately.

Very, very simple.  Very, very tasty. Try this salad and you'll be amazed how great it tastes. Well I'm off to finish one of those newfangled Sudoku puzzles. Until next time, remember you can do it, you can cook.

P.S. Bobby Darin had a hit in 1959 with "Beyond the Sea". Great song, fair movie. See if you can download it from Netflix .


Anonymous said...

This blog entry is a perfect example of why I read Crabby Cook: A fun, different recipe, and good thought-provoking writing. Love the image of a snowy Sunday morning, and love the arrogance of doing the crossword puzzle in pen. Thanks, Crabster. said...

Thank you for the kind words Anonymous. The only thing that could make them better would be a big, fat check. But failing that, please feel free to tell, text, twitter, facebook and myspace all your friends about Crabby.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

And the other thing about getting mature like fine wine. When I read the Today's Birthday section. I used to know only the youngest famous people, now I read them and know not only the older stars, but also am amazed they are still alive.

More proof of maturity. I can't load my WWB signature again. Kids come home and help please.

And another thing, serve a low acid wine from Southern Italy with this dish. Falanghina, Fiano and even a Trebbiano well chilled is a nice salad sipper.

Crossword in pen rocks!