Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Miso Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Crostini

I'm Chinese and Italian, yet while I've always been intrigued by the idea of fusion, this was a practice rarely carried out in my household.  Italian food had to stay pure - there was no room for Asian influences.  And with Chinese food, my mother was not as strict, but I suppose she just stuck with traditional recipes -- with the exception of adding olive oil to everything. 

See, I grew up with really black and white ideas about certain ingredients.  Ricotta and mascarpone were ingredients in Italian cuisine.  Soy sauce and sesame oil were ingredients in Chinese cuisine.  Those were clearly separated in our kitchen and consequently in my mind.  Then, coming to the UK really opened my eyes to a whole new culinary world, ironically enough. 

You can say what you want about British cuisine.  It went through a horrific stage back in the 70's all the way to the late 90's.  Hell, maybe longer than that.  Yes, the Brits had it bad for awhile. Appalling, in fact.  Thank god I never lived through those periods, but there are still places in the UK where that food culture still lingers, unfortunately.  But you know what, right now, the UK is so imaginative with food.  It is truly a melting pot of cultures and that is seen through the foods.  I love British cookery programs because they have the most amazing things.  They take fusion to a whole new level.  And you know what, it's difficult with fusion, it's difficult to break boundaries and mix things up, and for that, I respect you, Britain. 
 If you want to experiment with fusion, start with ingredients like these.  Miso's one of those versatile Asian ingredients that can find its place easily in a lot of Western dishes.  The same goes for ricotta.
Miso paste
EVO oil
cherry tomatoes
Demerera sugar

Mix the ricotta, miso paste and olive oil together and adjust the taste to your liking. 

Turn the grill on.  Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, spread on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over some demerera sugar.  Put under the grill and grill for 10 minutes or until caramelized. 

Spoon the ricotta mixture on toasts and then top with roasted tomatoes. 

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