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Cook the Book: Burnt Ricotta Salata, Tomatoes, and Olives

In the introduction to Seven Fires, Francis Mallmann talks about the taste of burnt. He says that adding an element dissonance to a dish makes it interesting, and that many chefs are too hung up on harmonious flavors. He uses a tomato to illustrate this point: "A burnt tomato, for example, has a dark crust bordering on bitter, while the inside is soft and gentle in texture and in taste."

This recipe for Burnt Ricotta Salata, Tomatoes, and Olives takes the harmonious combination of ingredients and adds a dissonant element by charring the cheese and chiles. While Mallmann is a fan of burnt flavors, he is careful not to take the charring too far or else it will destroy the nuances of the dish.

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