This is a delicious appetizer recipe that you can make using store-bought ricotta or better yet, make your own fresh ricotta. It’s so easy!
Part I: Make your Handmade Artisan Ricotta
1 gallon whole milk
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP butter
¼ tsp baking soda
- Start with 1 gallon milk ( Cow, goat or sheep milk will work; whole milk preferred)
- Heat milk in a heavy pot (double-clad stainless steel or enameled cast iron works well) to 185 degrees, stirring regularly to keep from scalding.
- At 185 degrees, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Stir for about a couple of minutes. You should see curds begin to develop and eventually the milk they are floating in will look somewhat clear with a yellow-ish tinge. If you don’t get this clear separation between the curds and whey, keep heating up to about 200 degrees and if needed, add another teaspoon or two of vinegar.
- Ladle the curds into a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Drain for 1 minute.
- Add 3 TBSP butter and 1/4 tsp baking soda. Stir.
Part II: Combine freshly made ricotta with other simple ingredients and bake
2-3 cups fresh, warm ricotta
zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ tsp dried herbs*
2-3 TBSP olive oil
- Add lemon zest to your warm ricotta and stir
- Add 1 tsp of your favorite dried herb blend and mix into the lemony ricotta. (*I like HerbSalt produced by Gayle’s Salts out of Boulder but you can use any blend of herbs you like. If your blend doesn’t contain salt, add a pinch of nice sea salt to bring up the flavor.)
- Put 2 TBSP of good olive oil in an oven-proof skillet or baking dish and swirl around to coat the dish.
- Spoon your ricotta mixture into the dish, drizzle the top with a little more olive oil and sprinkle a few more herbs on it.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned.
- Serve with lightly toasted baguette slices.
Submitted by Kate Johnson, March 2020