Thursday, January 27, 2011
Yes, yes, I live in the city. But sometimes I imagine myself in an alternate universe - where Robbie and I have a farm and grow things and raise animals, and where Nelle collects eggs every morning and gets muddy on a regular basis. And where I can bear to be more than a kilometer from a good coffee shop.
Of course, I want everything. So, we live our urban lives (with all cafe-related happinesses) ... and take holidays in more rustic places. Like farms. And cabins. With fireplaces. Ahhhh ...
But urban girls (like me) can channel their inner Granny - and what was Granny all about? Frugal living. Not wasting. Baking and cooking with love.
Yep, I can do that! Dare I say it? Yee-haw!
I think ricotta must be one of the most thrown-out of fridge items ... we buy it (or make it) for a lasagne and then ... oops. But ricotta makes the loveliest tarty-things! Perfect for lunch with a whole host of different toppings to choose from.
Imagine how nice it would be to come in from a morning of hard work (in the fields? or the supermarket?) to one of these ...
Farmhouse Baked Ricotta
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
10-15 min prep + 20-30 min baking
120g pecorino (or another sharp, hard cheese), grated
1-2 sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls basil leaves, washed and patted dry
1 Tbs lemon rind (or 1 tsp dried)
*Try to use organic ingredients when you can
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Line 12 muffin cups with baking paper. Don't worry about them looking perfect!
2. Mix the ricotta with 1/2 the pecorino.
3. Basically, each tart will consist of 3 layers - cheese then sweet potato then cheese. Fill each baking-paper-lined cup with the layered mixture.
4. When you're done making the layers, top the tarts with the remaining pecorino.
5. Bake for 20-30 min, until the tops are golden and puffed. Then remove, and set aside.
6. Meanwhile, put all the sauce ingredients in a blender and whizz till smooth.
7. Let the tarts cool slightly before removing them from their baking paper shells. Or serve them in the baking paper ... they look pretty cute that way.
Enjoy with the herb sauce (or a derivation of ... feel free to substitute other herbs!) or tomato ketchup or chutney ...
Well, if you're using up ricotta (or you've made some yourself, on the cheap) this family-sized dinner will set you back $7 - $8. And that's for all-organic!
Nice work, Granny.