Farmers Market Salad With Housemade Ricotta and Nasturtium Butter
Chefs Tony Esnault and Benjamin Stephens
Church & State Bistro
A salad garnished with edible flowers is a festive way to welcome spring. At Church & State Bistro in Los Angeles, chefs Tony Esnault and Benjamin Stephens use nasturtium blossoms in their Farmers Market Salad and puree the leaves to make an aromatic butter. They also make their own ricotta cheese in-house and dollop it over quinoa to complete the dish.
1 lb. butter, softened
1 qt. nasturtium leaves, pureed
1 pt. nasturtium leaves, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 qt. milk
1 qt. heavy cream
2 tbsp. distilled vinegar
Grated zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup chopped chives
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup vegetable oil
Thinly sliced radishes, lightly dressed
Nasturtium flowers and leaves, lightly dressed
Toasted rustic bread
- For nasturtium butter, beat together butter, pureed and chopped nasturtium leaves and salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
- For ricotta cheese: Combine milk and cream in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Let rest until curds form and mixture cools to room temperature.
- Pour mixture into strainer lined with cheesecloth; allow to drain in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Place cheese in bowl and gently fold in lemon zest and chives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For puffed quinoa, combine quinoa and vegetable oil in saute pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, until golden and crispy. Remove from heat to cool. Set aside until ready to serve.
- For each serving, spoon ½ cup cheese on serving plate. Spoon or pipe ¼ cup Nasturium Butter into ramekin and place on plate. Arrange dressed greens and radishes over cheese. Mound 2 tablespoons puffed quinoa on each side of cheese. Accompany with toasted rustic bread.
Photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board