Ricotta with Pickled Chamomile and Orange Peel
Who doesn’t love spring’s thaw? Even in Florida, I find myself waking up when spring arrives, just as the earth’s floor. Edible weeds sprout and the flowers bloom bringing us an incredible number of tasty nibbles- if we know where to look! Inspired by what was growing around me, I decided to put this ricotta plate together.
Last summer was #ricottasummer. Basically, I was obsessed and ate it all the time. But I think enough time has passed, and I’m gearing up for another season of cheese. If you want to get super nerdy about it, like me, then check this out. The quick chamomile and orange pickles were also a hit from last summer, and I knew I wanted to include them here, so I prepped a few days ahead. Instead of writing the recipe for this salad (it’s not really a recipe if it’s just a matter of plating things, is it?), I including the VERY simple instructions for how to make the chamomile, orange peel pickles. It barely counts as a recipe either.
This plate starts off with a small heap of ricotta that is then dotted with quick vinegar pickles of apple-y smelling chamomile blossoms and bitter orange peel. Both have a natural floral and fruity taste to them and are absolutely delicious, as is the resulting infused vinegar. I love including it in dressings or just jujjing vegetables with it. It would probably make a killer shrub, too (totally going to do this).
Next I placed several small stripes of linden honey on the bowl and sprinkled salted panko bread crumbs over them. Lastly, I tucked the tender, sweet pea shoots and the tart, sour oxalis leaves around the ricotta, and spooned a small amount of grassy extra virgin olive oil onto the pile of ricotta. If I’d found it, I’d have loved to include some chickweed here as well, but it wasn’t for today.
Sweet, sour, floral, crunchy, salty, subtle. Delicious. Happy grazing.
Chamomile-Orange Peel-Quick Pickles and Vinegar
1 cup dried chamomile blossoms
1/4 cup dried bitter orange peel
2 cups apple cider vinegar
Place your dry ingredients in a wide mouth 16oz canning jar and fill to the top with apple cider vinegar. You will want to either place a small piece of cloth over the lid before screwing the metal lid back on, OR use their amazing plastic lids. Vinegar has a way of eroding the metal lids rather quickly.
You’ll want to allow this to sit for a couple days, preferably in a cool, darker spot. A pantry or cupboard would be ideal. I like to open it up and taste it every day to see how its evolving. Just note that both chamomile and orange peel, while sweet and floral, can also begin to taste bitter if they’ve steeped for too long. Think of chamomile tea that steeps for too long. Definitely strain this one after you get it where you want it.
See? What did I say? Barely a recipe.
Check out Wild Taproot’s Vinegars page for more deliciousness!