Thousand-Tomato Salad with Ricotta & Basil Oil

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Thousand-Tomato Salad with Ricotta & Basil Oil

Ingredients:

For the Basil Oil:
¼ cup  fresh basil
½ cup olive oil
Salt & freshly milled pepper
 
For the Ricotta (if homemade):
6⅓ cup goat's milk
1 organic lemon (juice only)
1 tbsp coriander seed, briefly toasted in a dry frying pan
1 tsp salt
 
For the Salad:
1⅔ lb multi-colored tomatoes
A few tbsp basil oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly milled pepper

Procedure:

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TO MAKE THE BASIL OIL:
  1. Blanch the basil in boiling water for 10 seconds. Allow to drain in a sieve, and rinse in cold water. Blot the basil dry with a clean paper towel.
  2. Add the basil leaves to the smallest bowl of your food processor (or use a mortar and pestle), and blend while adding the oil in a thin steady stream. Season the green oil to taste with salt and pepper.
TO MAKE THE  RICOTTA:
  1. Heat the milk with the lemon juice, coriander seeds and salt in a saucepan until the milk begins to curdle. Allow to boil gently for 3 minutes, so that the whey (the clear liquor) can separate from the curd (the white part).
  2. Suspend a sieve over a bowl and line with a clean cheese cloth. Pour the mixture through the cloth, collecting the whey in the bowl underneath. (What to do with that whey? Try these tips!)
  3. Wring out the curd in the cheesecloth to get rid of as much liquid as possible, and then place the cheese cloth and ricotta into a faiselle mold or small colander. If you don't want to bother, you can also use the ricotta as is. The longer you allow the cheese to drain, however, the harder it will get. Ricotta doesn't need very long, but it's best when chilled in the refrigerator first.
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
  1. Cut the tomatoes into slices and spread them out over a large serving platter.
  2. Crumble the cheese over the tomatoes, and drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over it. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Adapted from Home Made Summer by Yvette van Boven.