I’m a huge fan of really fresh ricotta cheese. One of my favorite desserts to make back in my restaurant days was a small portion of ricotta from Dancing Ewe Farm surrounded by a pool of fresh cherries in syrup. The cheese needed absolutely nothing added to it – it was sweet, milky perfection, the epitome of fresh. So I was naturally quite intrigued when I heard that Salvatore Ricotta was going to be sold at the Brooklyn Flea. I actually had a minute last Sunday to make it to their table and bought a container. My Mother bought one of their fresh cannoli, but I can’t report on that – it lasted all of about 2 seconds. When I opened the cheese at home I found it was not your usual ricotta. It is much smoother and creamier, almost like a lighter version of mascarpone, but still with the characteristic fresh ricotta flavor. I could have eaten it all right out of the container, but decided to use it to top off a salad to go with tonight’s roasted salmon. I mixed in just a bit of salt, pepper and olive oil, and made a nice quenelle for the top (3 months removed from restaurant work and I can still make a perfect quenelle!). The salad itself was mixed greens, endive and haricot vert, with a quick lemon-mustard vinaigrette. It was pretty good, but I must say that the ricotta was the star. It would have been fine all by itself, but the flavor of the small amount of olive oil that I added shone through brightly. Fresh ricotta seems to make a great vehicle for other flavors. I can’t wait to try it again with a bit of white truffle oil, mmmmmmmm…….