Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We made a quick trip up to Wyoming on Saturday, but other than that most of the weekend was spent cooking, drinking, cleaning and writing. Sometimes I don’t hate weekends like this. I feel like most of us are always on-the-go, and it’s good to have a low-key weekend every once in a while. Besides, I have this little nagging Justine screaming at me in the back of my head telling me that I must get as far ahead as possible on cooking, photographing and blogging. I have a very busy summer ahead and the thought of getting behind is scaring me half to death! So, cook away I shall. I have a feeling I’m going to hate my kitchen in a month. ;)
So, about these fried ricotta cheese salads with sautéed mushrooms. I like your everyday dinner salad. I wouldn’t say I’m head over heals in love with your everyday dinner salad. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spinach or arugula leaf, but I get bored with ordinary salads. I have to make them special in some way if I’m going to eat one, and since I try to have at least one a day this process can get quite tiresome and redundant.
Enter …. fried ricotta cheese. When I made these little cuties last week, it was basically the best day of my life. I have tried to pan-fry cheese before. I’ve had luck in some cases, but never have I had luck with ricotta. The key? Draining the ricotta is what made it work. Getting rid of all of that excess moisture really made these little bundles hold together and I was so happy. They are literally little crispy nuggets with a creamy center. They are so perfect in every which way and I hope you find them to be the same. It would sadden me if you didn’t. :(
Recipe for this fried ricotta cheese salad is below. Pair it with a pale ale and have a wonderful day! xo
You will need cheesecloth for this recipe. Inactive/Chilling Time: at least 1 hour
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, drained with a cheesecloth (see note)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg, whisked
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (plus extra for dredging)
- 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
- 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cups fresh greens of choice
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- dressing of choice
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese parmesan cheese, egg, salt and black pepper, panko bread crumbs and flour until thoroughly combined. Cover and place in the freezer fro 45 min-1 hour.
- Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to a deep sauté pan, and heat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 6-7 minutes or until brown and tender. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl, and wipe out the pan with a paper towel. You will use it later.
- Place a small amount of flour in a shallow bowl. Take your ricotta cheese mixture and using a tablespoon-sized scoop, scoop into the flour. Roll the cheese gently into a ball. The mixture will still be very soft, so be gentle. Repeat for the rest of the cheese.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons to the pan, and heat over medium-high heat. In batches, add the cheese to the hot oil. They will flatten slightly as they cook. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on one side, until it is very brown. Flip the cheese carefully and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a plate that has been lined with a paper towel to get rid of any excess grease.
- Assemble your salads by layering sautéed mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs, and fried ricotta on top of a bed of greens. Drizzle with your favorite dressing and enjoy!
Draining the ricotta cheese through a cheesecloth will get rid of any excess moisture. Having too much moisture will make it difficult for the balls to hold their shape. Please do not skip this step.