This menu makes me dream of owning a villa in Tuscany. For a Sunday bbq with friends, the menu started with a plater of figs, currants, cantaloupe and proscuitto, and a plate of sliced cucumber and peppered salami. But the star of the show was the ricotta panini with fresh sage (recipe below). If you have a panini press, you will love it’s simplicity and delicious flavor. The sage gets grilled into the bread and makes for a beautiful presentation. I got the idea from Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery.
For the main course, I made Grilled Marinated Pork Loin with Rosemary and Orange, Gemelli Pasta Salad with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Basil, and Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan.
Ricotta Grilled Cheese with Fresh Sage
2 thick slices of country bread
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
6 fresh sage leaves
2 tblsp butter
salt and fresh black pepper
1. Drain ricotta in cheesecloth in a colander set over a bowl for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat panini press on medium-high heat. Spread butter on outside of both slices of bread. Spread ricotta and season with salt and pepper. Close to make sandwich.
3. Press the sage leaves into the bread (it should stick to the butter). Press the sandwich in the panini maker until the bread is golden and crusty.