Ricotta Toasts with Fennel Jam | CUESA

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Ricotta Toasts with Fennel Jam

Source:

Michael Harlan Turkell, Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on September 9, 2017.

Serves 4 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Ricotta
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Fennel Jam
2 large fennel bulbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup golden raisins

4-8 pieces of toast
Salt
Olive oil (optional)

PREPARATION

To make the ricotta: Set up a sieve lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. You can also use a kitchen towel over a colander. Mix the milk, cream, and salt in a large saucepan (at least twice the height of the liquid, so it doesn’t boil over) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove it from the heat. If you have a candy thermometer, take the mixture off the heat once it reaches 200 °F. Then add the vinegar and whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve. The liquid that comes out is whey, which is great to save for poaching fish and vegetables and to use as a hydrating liquid for baking. Let the cheese drain for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the ricotta curds from the cheesecloth and put them in a container. Let cool.

To make the jam: Trim the tops off the fennel. Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise, remove the core, and slice the fennel into ¼-inch slices, or if you like finer textured jam, dice the fennel. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the fennel and salt and let cook for 10-15 minutes, uncovered. It’s okay if it browns a little, but don’t let it burn.

Add the fennel seeds and brown sugar and stir to incorporate. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vinegar and raisins, drop the heat to medium-low, and cook for another 30-45 minutes, until everything gels together and there’s little to no liquid left.

To assemble: Spread a good spoonful of ricotta onto your favorite toast, then add a dollop of jam on top. Sprinkle with salt to finish. To make it more savory, add a glug of good olive oil.

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »