Rose’s Luxury chef and owner Aaron Silverman added this dish to his menu during the peak of the summer peach season, which is key. Silverman doesn’t cook his peaches, but merely slices them raw for this elegant appetizer. Ripeness is paramount. You want almost melt-in-your-mouth peaches, not firm, toothsome ones.
It’s preferable to have an instant-read thermometer for monitoring the cheesemaking. You'll need cheesecloth or a large fine-mesh strainer.
Make Ahead: The cheese can be made up to 1 week in advance; draining the ricotta can take an hour or more.
Where to Buy: Look for shiso, an herb, at farmers markets. Do not use ultra-pasteurized (UHT) goat's milk, as it makes it much harder for curds to separate.
Yield: (makes about 4 cups of cheese)
- For the ricotta
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole buttermilk
- 2 quarts whole goat's milk (see headnote)
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 3 large pinches fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- For the peaches
- 3 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
- Wildflower honey or your favorite honey, for drizzling
- Maldon flaked sea salt, for garnish
- Finely chopped basil, for garnish
- Finely chopped shiso leaves, for garnish
- Edible flower petals, for garnish (optional)
For the ricotta: Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth; place the colander inside a large bowl if you plan to reserve the whey for another use.
Combine the heavy cream, buttermilk, goat’s milk, lemon juice and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture almost to a boil (about 185 degrees); do not boil, adjusting the heat as needed. After 5 to 8 minutes, you should see curds (milk solids) start to separate from the whey. The curds will be quite small.
Carefully pour the mixture through the cheesecloth.
Once the ricotta is just set, if using right away, season lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle lightly with the oil. Otherwise, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. The yield is about 4 cups.
For the peaches: Cut each peach half into thin slices.
Spoon a large dollop of the ricotta on each plate. Top each portion with a half-peach’s worth of slices. Drizzle lightly with honey and sprinkle lightly with the flaked sea salt. Garnish with the basil, shiso and flowers, if using. Serve right away.
Adapted from Aaron Silverman, executive chef at Rose’s Luxury on Barracks Row.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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