I’m actually really, really proud of this post.

Not just the photos…the colors…the exceptional outcome ~ the taste, the smell, the sight..

It’s all of it, actually.

The whole package.Spanish Lemon Tomato Ricotta Torte-041

I’m so very pleased about the fact that the idea conceptualized in an instant.

And, I’m beaming over the depth of flavor and how it all so beautifully combines, yet also of how each element seems to exude its own character and nature independent of the others, while still amalgamating into a synthesis of savory satisfaction.

Spanish Lemon Manchego Ricotta Torte

2 sleeves Ritz crackers, finely crumbled
10 Tbs. butter, melted
6 oz. dry salami, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper
olive oil
8 oz. aged Spanish Manchego cheese, chopped
16 oz. whole milk ricotta
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
pinch of fresh ground pepper
1 Tbs. fresh lemon thyme
2 Tbs. Preserved Lemons, finely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh basil, finely chopped

Combine the cracker crumbs and melted butter in a parchment lined square baking dish. The consistency should be that of sand.
Using your hands, push the mixture firmly over the bottom of the pan, spreading evenly. 
Transfer to the fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Toss the chopped tomatoes, garlic, sea salt, and pepper with olive oil.
Roast until the tomatoes are just beginning to brown.

Set the tomatoes aside to cool.
Combine the cheeses, lemon juice and zest, eggs, lemon thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper more in a high speed blender. Process until super smooth and creamy.

Remove the crust from the fridge and line with overlapping salami slices.
Next, using a slotted spoon to drain the oil from the tomatoes, add those to the top of the salami and push down with the back of the spoon to crush and create an even layer of sauciness.
Cover with the lemon cheese mixture.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bake the torte for about 30 minutes, until the center is just slightly jiggly.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for several hours.

Garnish with chopped Preserved Lemon and fresh basil.

Best served at room temperature.

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