I love the sweetness and tanginess of these ingredients. Sometimes, if I’m really impatient, I’ll skip the ricotta and the loaf pan, chunk the feta and mix it with torn mint and the honeyed oranges, and serve it in small bowls. It’s almost a dessert. Or a great cheese course for sweet dessert eaters like me. My recipe is adapted from Ricotta and Caprino Layered with Fresh Basil Leaves, from the cookbook My Italian Garden by Viana La Place. —mrslarkin
Test Kitchen Notes
What we love about mrslarkin’s recipe is that it takes three grab bag ingredients (feta, blood oranges and mint) and combines in a thoughtful way, elevating the whole to much more than the sum of its parts. A scoop of ricotta tames the feta’s brininess, and the honey (mrslarkin recommends buckwheat, but you can use whatever you like) coaxes maximum sweetness from the blood oranges, smoothing out its tart edges. A few fragrant mint leaves, peeking delicately out the sides of the slab of cheese, lend a certain sophistication. Brought together in this way, these apparently disparate elements make for a great hors d’oeuvre, or a playful dessert and cheese course all in one. - A&M —The Editors
3 or more
large bunch of fresh mint leaves
blood oranges, segmented and chopped, membranes reserved
In a shallow bowl or dish, mash the feta with the back of a fork. Add the ricotta and stir together very well.
Lightly oil a 3” x 6” mini loaf pan with olive oil.
Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture into the bottom of the pan. Cover with a single layer of mint leaves, and gently press them into the cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Continue with another layer of cheese, followed by a layer of mint leaves, drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. Spread the last layer of cheese on top, another drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the top layer of cheese to keep it moist.
Combine the honey and chopped orange segments in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from the reserved membrane onto the segments. Stir together gently.
Remove the plastic wrap from the cheese. Invert the mini loaf pan onto a serving dish. Spoon the honeyed oranges over top.
Garnish with additional fresh mint leaves. Serve with pita chips, pita bread wedges, or crostini.