We Americans complicate our food. We are busy and stressed. We stare into our pantries endlessly. We overwhelm ourselves in the kitchen with good intentions, and then throw in the towel, and head to a restaurant or worse, we make our way through a drive thru to pick up a tasteless bag of sodium, fat, and empty calories. We can do better.
Everyday food should not be complicated. A few fresh ingredients, and you can have a satisfying meal. This recipe is proof.
A simple recipe that will feel like part sandwich-part salad. All you need is good crusty bread, fresh cucumbers, a handful of herbs, and good ricotta cheese (forget the part skim-buy the whole milk). If you are feeling like you have a few more minutes, make your own ricotta. Ricotta cheese is super easy and you will never go back to store bought at least not willingly.
These cucumber ricotta sandwiches will hit the spot. Add a green salad, maybe a bowl of olives, and oh yes, a bottle of dry Riesling from upstate New York, and you will enjoy a light, satisfying late summer meal.
Note: This also makes a beautiful appetizer.
Cucumber Ricotta Sandwiches
Adapted from New York Times
6 thinly sliced Persian cucumbers (about 2-1/2 cups)
Salt and black pepper
1 Serrano Chile, very thinly sliced(or minced, with seeds, if preferred)
12 large basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
1 tablespoon chopped dill
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon thinly sliced chives
1 to 2 cups soft, rich ricotta (drained if necessary)
2 ciabatta rolls, split lengthwise, lightly toasted(or a baguette split lengthwise)
Cilantro sprigs for garnish
Put cucumbers in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, then toss. Add Chile, basil, lime juice, dill, tarragon, mint and chives. Toss well.
Spread ricotta generously over each ciabatta toast. Spoon cucumber mixture over ricotta on each toast. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.