While summer may be coming to a close, we still have a few more weeks of beautiful tomatoes to enjoy. Ricotta cheese features prominently in Italian cuisine, dating all the way back to Roman times. Made from the whey protein in sheep, goat, cow, or buffalo milk, traditional Italian ricotta tastes sweet and creamy, and provided a decadent backdrop for end of summer tomatoes. Ricotta provides protein and calcium, and the healthy fat helps your body utilize the lycopene and vitamin C in the tomatoes. Using local honey highlights the sweet flavors of this dish, and also provides a health boost. Honey produced where you live contains natural properties that can alleviate local allergies. It’s also antimicrobial, and gives your immune system a boost. Serve this recipe with some crusty bread- and you’ve got a dish everyone is excited to dig into. To make this a complete meal, add a fresh green salad, and some grilled fish or chicken.

Serves 2

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons local honey (to taste)
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cup tomatoes, cut in half
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • Fresh chopped basil, to serve

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, honey, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk the ricotta until its smooth, beating out any lumps. Add more of any of these ingredients, to taste.
  2. Spread the ricotta mix on a plate, and arrange the sliced tomatoes on top. Drizzle everything with the extra virgin olive oil, a pinch more salt, and a sprinkling of fresh chopped basil. Enjoy!
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About The Author

Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com

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