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Ricotta Dumplings with Meyer Lemon Salsa



Ricotta Dumplings: – 2 pounds Real California Ricotta cheese – 4 large eggs – 1/2 cup grated Real California Jack cheese – 2 tablespoons melted Real California butter – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt – All-purpose flour, for forming dumplings Pea Purée: – 4 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil – 3 tablespoons chopped garlic – 9 cups English peas – 9 sprigs mint – Salt and black pepper Meyer Lemon Salsa: – 1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced shallots – 3 large Meyer lemons – Kosher salt and black pepper – 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Dry Jack Cream: – 4 1/2 cups Real California heavy cream – 2 1/4 cups grated Real California dry Jack cheese – Kosher salt – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil – 4 1/2 cups sliced sugar snap peas – 4 1/2 cups English peas – 2 1/4 cups sliced green garlic – Kosher salt and black pepper – 8 tablespoons Real California butter – 16 cups pea shoots – 1/2 cup mint chiffonade – 1 pound Real California Jack cheese, in one piece
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To make ricotta dumplings, place ricotta in a sieve lined with a paper coffee filter or doubled cheesecloth and set over a bowl; refrigerate, covered, for 8-24 hours to drain. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat ricotta until no large curds remain. Add eggs, cheese, butter and salt; beat until light and fluffy. With two small spoons, shape ricotta mixture into quenelles. Dust with flour and place on a flour-dusted baking sheet. Chill at least 1 hour. (Yield: 96 dumplings)

To make pea purée, in a saucepan, heat oil and garlic over low heat. Let garlic sizzle for a minute without burning; stir in peas and mint and season with salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender. Strain, discard mint and reserve oil. Purée peas in a food processor. With the motor running, slowly pour in half the reserved oil until purée is silky but still has some texture. If necessary, thin purée with a little water or reserved oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm or reheat to order (Yield: 4 1/2 cups)

To make Meyer lemon salsa, combine shallots, juice of 1 1/2 lemons and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; let sit 5 minutes. Slice the stem and blossom ends from remaining 1 1/2 lemons. Stand lemons on one end and cut vertically into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Stack slices and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks. Line up matchsticks and cut into 1/8-inch cubes. Add diced lemon to shallot. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (Yield: 1 1/2 cups)

To make dry Jack cream, in a saucepan, heat cream over medium heat to just below the boil; whisk in cheese until melted. Season with salt. Keep warm or reheat to order. (Yield: 4 1/2 cups)

For each serving, to order, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons sugar snap peas, 3 tablespoons English peas and 1 1/2 tablespoons green garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté gently for 3-4 minutes. Carefully drop 4 ricotta dumplings into a pot of boiling water. When they rise to the surface, cook for 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon butter and a spoonful of pasta water to vegetables. Add dumplings and stir very gently to combine ingredients; vegetables should be nicely glazed. Add 1/3 cup pea shoots. Spoon 3 tablespoons hot pea purée into a large shallow bowl; spread purée in one direction with the back of a spoon. Arrange dumplings on top of purée and spoon vegetables on top. Drizzle 3 tablespoons hot Dry Jack cream over and around dumplings; shave a few tablespoons Dry Jack on top with a vegetable peeler. Garnish with 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon salsa and 1 teaspoon mint.

Recipe courtesy of Suzanne Goin, Lucques Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)

Per Order:

Yield: 24 servings