Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Baked Swai with Pesto and Ricotta

A simple sauce of prepared pesto and ricotta cheese makes a moist and  flavorful coating for fish, pasta, or roasted vegetables

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/07/baked-swai-with-pesto-and-ricotta.html

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the photos of my first cheese-making efforts.  I got a gallon of milk marked down and made 2 balls of mozzarella with a cheese making kit I bought from Standing Stone Farms.  With the leftover whey (boy howdy there's a lot of whey) I made a bonus batch of ricotta cheese.
There was still a lot of whey leftover after making the ricotta and mozzarella, and I've been experimenting with it.  So far whey-soaked oven oatcake is a hit, and pizza crust using whey instead of water is also a winner.  Details to come.
Here's the thing, though--normally I'll use ricotta in something hearty, like my Quadruple Roasted Mock Lasagna.  This summer has been gloriously--and unusually--cool, but not cool enough for that.  I decided to use up the very last cubes of last fall's pestopalooza with the ricotta cheese, and play around.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/07/baked-swai-with-pesto-and-ricotta.html

All of the recipes I'm sharing today involve the oven or stovetop, but when it's really hot I think it'd be great to toss freshly grilled items (chicken thighs, fish fillets, eggplant or zucchini) with this ricotta-pesto mixture and keep your kitchen cool.  It would be delicious as the dressing in a pasta salad, with cherry tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and squash.  It's probably good on a cracker.  Since I thawed my put-up pesto to make these dishes, I'm positive this idea will work with winter fare (peeled, sliced, roasted sweet potatoes or delicata squash?).


http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/07/baked-swai-with-pesto-and-ricotta.html

NOTE:  I created this recipe to be gluten free through my choice of ingredients. Check labels to confirm that your products are also gluten free. Good sources for determining that your products are gluten free can be found here:

Baked Swai with Ricotta and Pesto (serves 2)

1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup prepared pesto (here's how I make and put up mine)
1 Swai fillet (mine was mostly thawed)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a small bowl combine ricotta and pesto.  Coat the fillet (both sides) with the mixture.  Bake in parchment-lined pan about 20 minutes until fish flakes easily with your fork.

Possible sides to accompany this fish (I'd flip the photo over to share the sides in the order shown, but it just looks weird upside down):

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/07/baked-swai-with-pesto-and-ricotta.html

1.  Ricotta and Pesto Pasta (serves 2-3)

6 ounces dried shaped pasta (use gluten free pasta as needed)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup prepared pesto

Prepare pasta according to package directions, saving a bit of pasta water when you drain it.  Combine pesto and ricotta in a small bowl. Toss pasta with pesto in the pasta pot (add a bit of pasta water if you'd like a saucier side dish).  Easily scalable for the amount of folks you wish to feed.

2.  Ricotta and Pesto Roasted Summer Squash (serves 3)

1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup prepared pesto (yes, this time I used more ricotta, not equal amounts)
2 medium sized yellow summer squash (would work with zucchini, eggplant, carrot, kohlrabi and ?)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine ricotta and pesto in a small bowl.  Slice squash in half lengthwise, then into half circles.  In a large bowl, toss the squash with olive oil then roast on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Stir.  Roast another 10 minutes.  If the squash is starting to brown, toss with the ricotta-pesto mixture (I re-used the large bowl for this), return to the rimmed baking sheet, and broil for 3-5 minutes until browned and bubbly.  If the squash isn't quite there yet, give it a stir and another 10 minutes roasting before switching over to broil and tossing with the ricotta-pesto mixture.

This post is linked with the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, What's Cookin' Wednesday, What's In The Box, the From The Farm Blog Hop,  Seafood Frenzy Friday, the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Tasty TuesdaysMostly Homemade Mondays.

I'm sorry, comments are closed on this post due to excessive spam.  If you're a real person, not a spam bot, I'd love to hear from you. If you'd like to share your thoughts, please go to my FB page.  Thanks!

20 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great idea! I never thought to combine ricotta was pesto (and yes, I too have last year's efforts still in the freezer.) I will experiment as I have a lot of zucchini coming ripe and I also have a nice purple kohlrabi that I picked up at a farm stand....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who still had a bit of pesto when the basil was coming in this year. I did such a huge pile last fall, and thought I was using it like crazy at times, but then there was another bag. Now the freezer is filling up with garlic scape pestos, but I have several small batches of that so they won't last.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. I bet that would also make such a good filling for ravioli!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alyssa,
      I think you're right--that's a great idea. I've got some square wrappers, we'll have to give it a try next time I make whey. I mean cheese, next time I make cheese.

      Boy, there's a lot of whey created in cheese making.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. Yum, yum, yum! We tried pesto with fish last summer and loved it. Thanks for the reminder, and for the idea to add ricotta to the mix. Fabulous! And for the other ideas too!
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      Always happy to share a family winner with you--and next time I see a Create A Full Meal With 5 Ingredients Challenge I'm ready for it, as this would be super easy and tasty.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Sharlea,
      Thanks--it was pretty tasty (and I was kinda stoked to see the texture of the fish look so cool in the photo. Sometimes I take a good one.) Not all foods are photogenic, but practicing to try and bring out their beauty is sure fun.

      Delete
  5. This looks amazing! I'm just starting to get tomatoes in my CSA, but I'll definitely be making tomato pesto as soon as possible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa,
      Thanks. I hope you enjoy it!
      ;)

      Delete
  6. Thank you so much for linking this up on Seafood Frenzy Friday Kirsten. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie,
      Thank you so much for hosting! I enjoy a themed link up (I enjoy themeless, too, but themed sure are fun).

      Delete
  7. I love the sound of these on red skinned potatoes. And I just happen to have red skinned potatoes and pesto. No ricotta though. Hmmm....maybe some feta. I got a block at the farmers market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      Pesto, feta, and red skinned potatoes would be really yummy--I need feta, but I've got so much other cheese that I've been holding off buying more. Perhaps that should change.
      Report back!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  8. I think the pesto ricotta combination sounds great! I've made my own ricotta before, it's unbelievable how much milk is needed to create just a small amount of cheese.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherri,
      I think it's unbelievable how much whey is created from a gallon of milk. However, I made delicious whey-soaked oatmeal and fresh plum muffins the other morning (which are in crumbs now due to a traveling mishap--we're thinking Muffin Pops with a bit of vanilla yogurt mixed in?) so I think I can just use whey in place of buttermilk until I'm out of whey.

      Of course I'll be long out of cheese at that point . . .

      Thanks!

      Delete
  9. Wow! This looks INCREDIBLE! And oh, so fancy :)

    Thanks for sharing and linking up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      i know, it looks like a fancy thing but it's so simple and easy.
      I was awfully proud of the photo showing the fish's texture--that one really stood out for me.
      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Melanie,
      It amazes me that a simple combination (ricotta + pesto) can add so much flavor to fish, pasta, or vegetables.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete