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Ricotta Gnocchi with Spring Vegetables
and Meyer Lemon Brown Butter

Chris Jones, the girl & the fig
Serves 4


24               Ricotta Gnocchi
8                baby carrots
4 oz            fava leaves
2                spring onions
4 oz            wild mushrooms
2                Meyer lemons
4 oz            whole butter
3 oz            shaved Parmesan

Peel the carrots and blanch in salted water until tender. Chill in ice water and reserve. Trim the spring onions in salted water until tender. Chill in ice water and reserve. Blanch the fava leaves quickly in salted water until tender. Chill in ice water and reserve.  

Sear the wild mushrooms in a hot sauté pan with a small amount of butter. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

Zest and juice the Meyer lemons. Heat the butter in a cold sauté pan, add the gnocchi and brown. Add the vegetables, lemon juice, zest and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the shaved Parmesan. 

Ricotta Gnocchi

1 lb             dry ricotta
1 large        egg
½ cup         all purpose four
¼ cup         grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp        Kosher salt
                  fresh grated nutmeg

Beat the egg and add it to the ricotta. Add the flour, cheese, salt and grated nutmeg. Check the dough for seasoning. Roll the dough into logs on a floured surface and cut them into 1” pieces. Bring salted water to a boil and blanch the gnocchi for 2 minutes to cook.    

Housemade Ricotta

1 gallon         whole milk
1 quart           buttermilk
Equipment:  cheesecloth, twine, sieve or colander, and an instant read thermometer

Rinse the cheesecloth in water and fold it into layers and use it to line a colander or sieve in the sink. Pour the milk and buttermilk into a large stainless steel or ceramic saucepan. Don't use aluminium or copper which will react to the acids in the milk. Place the pan over medium-high heat and stir with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure the milk doesn't burn. Once is the milk is warm, stop stirring and continue to heat. You will start to see lumps forming in the milk - these are the curds. Once the temperature reaches between 175° and 180°F, the curds and whey will separate. At that point remove your pan from the heat. Using a large flat ladle with holes, very gently transfer the curds to the lined sieve and leave them to drain.

Once the draining has slowed to a drip, carefully gather the edges of the cloth around the cheese and secure with the twine. Hang the ricotta and cheesecloth and drain further until the cheese cools and dripping completely comes to a halt. Remove the cheese from the cloth and refrigerate. For absolute freshness, consume as quickly as possible.

From the 2009 Artisan Cheese Festival

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