Serves 4 / Ricotta Salata, a variation of ricotta that is pressed, salted and aged, gets upgraded with hot chile paste and charred bell peppers.
2 each red, yellow and green bell peppers
2 Walla Walla onions, cut in wedges with root on
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (hot chile paste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 ounces Ricotta Salata, cut 1/2-inch thick
1. Char peppers using a propane torch or by placing on a hot grill. Peel, seed and julienne.
2. Sauté wedges of onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
3. Marinate cooked onion and peppers with 1/2 cup olive oil, one tablespoon of garlic and red wine vinegar to taste.
4. Thinly shave or slice bulb fennel. Finely chop two tablespoons of fennel greens and toss with shaved fennel, remaining garlic, Sambal Oelek, 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar.
5. Grill Ricotta Salata on each side 1-2 minutes.
6. Fan a cooked onion wedge on each plate. Cut root flush to hold fan intact.
7. Place some marinated peppers and fennel salad on plate. Top with grilled ricotta. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with a sprig of fennel top.
PER SERVING: 549 cal, 40g fat, 66mg chol, 23g protein, 29g carb