Fresh Baked Ricotta with Tomatoes, Chives and Garlic

Fresh Baked Ricotta with Tomatoes, Chives and Garlic

Susie Heller

Susie Heller

October 23rd, 2017

https://simplefeast.com/chefscatalog

Fresh Baked Ricotta with Tomatoes, Chives and Garlic


Serves 4
50 minutes total time
30 minutes active time
Easy

Making fresh ricotta is much easier than you would imagine. I love to wait until my guests have arrived since they are amazed to watch the curds form and the cheese take shape. It can be used in any recipes calling for ricotta, but this is a quick variation for an easy beautiful appetizer. The recipe can be made with store-bought ricotta as well.

Cooking note: Fresh ricotta is very versatile. It can be seasoned with thyme, chervil, tarragon or chives to taste. Other great mix-ins are chopped sundried tomatoes or pesto. Serve the ricotta warm or use it cold in any recipes that call for ricotta. It is also delicious on bruschetta topped with fresh ripe pear and drizzled with honey.

Ingredients
Fresh Ricotta - Makes 2 cups ricotta
6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, plus more as needed
2 cups buttermilk
1 lemon
Kosher salt

To complete
Kosher salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced chives
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Grilled or toasted country bread

Directions
Dampen several layers of cheesecloth and use them to line a large fine-mesh strainer. Combine the milk, 2 cups of heavy cream and buttermilk in a large high-sided saucepan. Using a silicone spatula, stir over high heat until the mixture is warm. Once it is warm, stop stirring. You can gently move the mixture near the edges to see when the curds form but do your best not to disturb them. Once you stop stirring this should only take a few minutes. Avoid simmering the mixture which would break up the curds.

When the curds and whey separate, remove the pan from the heat and gently ladle the curds into the strainer. Lift the sides of the cheesecloth to help the curd drain. The longer you drain the ricotta the thicker it will become. Put the ricotta into a bowl. Using a rasp grater, grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl. Stir and season with salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375ˆF.

If baking the ricotta, check the texture. If it is store-bought, seems stiff or has been refrigerated, stir in 1 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream for a creamy texture. Spread the ricotta into a 6-inch gratin or small cast iron skillet.

Put the tomatoes in a bowl. Using a rasp grater, grate the garlic cloves over the tomatoes. Add the chives and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with a light coating of olive oil. Spoon the tomatoes around the ricotta leaving an opening in the center.

Drizzle another 1-2 tablespoon olive oil over the top and bake for 15-20 minutes until it is hot and the edges are beginning to brown. Turn on the broiler, watching carefully to brown the top and char the tomatoes a bit. Serve with some grilled or toasted country bread.

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Ingredients

  • Fresh Ricotta-Makes 2 cups ricotta
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, plus more as needed
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt Ingredients//To complete
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Grilled or toasted country bread