Mark Bittman, a food writer for the New York Times, would (in his former Minimalist column) occasionally publish “101 Simple Appetizers,” or “101 Simple Salads for the Season,” or even “101 Grilling Recipes.” Reading them made me giddy – so many fantastic ideas. So it occurred to me to share something similar with you.
TEN WAYS WITH RICOTTA CHEESE
1. Stir ricotta into scrambled eggs.
2. Make a granola bowl with ricotta and berries, drizzled with honey or maple syrup.
3. Spread on a sandwich.
4. Mix ricotta into a red sauce and serve over pasta. Tastes like lasagna, without having to make lasagna.
5. Make a spread for crackers or baguette slices. Mix ricotta with your favorite olives (chopped), sun dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.
6. Make ricotta pesto (see recipe below).
7. Spread on toast and drizzle with honey for a simple breakfast.
8. Spoon dollops of ricotta into a green salad.
9. Enrich your pancake or waffle batter with 1/2 cup or so of ricotta.
10. Make ricotta pudding (see recipe below).
TEN WAYS WITH SHOOTS
1. Eat them straight up for a snack.
2. Garnish your soup with a sprinkle of shoots.
3. Saute shoots with some onion and fold into an omelet.
4. Toss into a stir fry.
5. Make crostini with shoots and ricotta (see recipe below).
6. Throw two handfuls on a homemade pizza after it comes out of the oven.
7. Put shoots on a sandwich instead of lettuce.
8. Roughly chop some shoots and mix them into egg salad.
9. Make sesame pea shoot salad (see recipe below).
10. Make an asian noodle bowl with diced tofu or chicken breast, your favorite steamed veg: cabbage, carrots, broccoli, splash with soy sauce and/or fish sauce and garnish with basil, cilantro, lime and a generous amount of pea shoots for a satisfying crunch.
CROSTINI WITH SHOOTS AND RICOTTA
(Adapted from FOOD52.com)
- 8 slices of baguette
- sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped ramps or scallions (green onions)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 3/4 cup shoots
- 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly brush baguette slices with oil. Arrange on baking sheet. Bake in oven until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Remove and set aside.
In a bowl combine ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grounds of pepper – mix well until light and fluffy. Stir in ramps (or scallions) and mint. Spread this mixture on the baguette slices.
Top each crostini with a sprinkling of shoots, drizzle with oil and give each one a little squeeze of lemon. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
SESAME SHOOT SALAD
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1/2 cup fresh or thawed green peas
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan or try subbing gomasio
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 6 cups shoots, washed and spun dry
In a kettle of boiling salted water cook sugar snap peas 2 minutes. Add snow and green peas and cook 1 more minute. Drain peas in a colander and rinse in cold water. Pat dry on paper towels.
In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, sesame seeds(or gomasio), sugar and soy sauce until sugar is dissolved.
In a bowl toss shoots and peas with dressing.
EAT WELL AND BE WELL