Marinated Tomato Salad with Whipped Ricotta & Basil

This salad uses two kinds of heirloom tomatoes to get the most of that incredible end-of-summer flavor.

Marinated Tomato Salad with Whipped Ricotta & Basil
Serves 4

  • 2 teaspoons shallots, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8-ounce heirloom tomato, cubed or cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground  
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Mince the shallots and garlic and combine in a mixing bowl. You can’t chop them too small- the smaller they are, the better flavor will disperse in the salad!

Add the tomatoes, vinegar, oil, 3 teaspoons of salt, and black pepper. Mix well but gently- the tomatoes will break apart if you over mix them. A rubber spatula works best.

Set the tomatoes aside to marinate and begin the ricotta. Put the heavy cream in a large mixing bowl. Using either a countertop or hand-held electric mixer, whip the cream on medium-high until soft peaks form. Fold in the ricotta and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then whip again for 10-15 seconds to incorporate.

To serve, spoon some of the marinated tomatoes onto a plate and top with a spoonful of ricotta and fresh basil leaves. Enjoy! 

Chef Brandon FosterBrandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado, almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.