Homemade Ricotta – makes for a fresh, festive bruschetta spread!
This is delicious topped with a thin slice of prosciutto and a dollop of fruit preserves, like fig or apricot, or simply drizzle with truffle oil (yum!) and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Rich Homemade Ricotta
Makes about 1 cup
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.
Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Note: Ricotta can be prepared and stored in airtight container for 3-4 days.
Honey-Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta
Servings: 12 bruschetta
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons clover honey
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 12 baguette slices, cut 1/2 inch thick on the bias
- 1 cup fresh ricotta (see recipe above)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn
Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, honey, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Scrape the tomatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and turn them cut side up. Bake the tomatoes for about 1 hour and 25 minutes, until they begin to shrivel and brown. Let cool.
Preheat the broiler. Spread out the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Broil for about 30 seconds on each side, until the edges are golden brown.
Spread the ricotta over the baguette slices and top with the slow-roasted tomatoes. Lightly drizzle the tomatoes with the buckwheat honey, sprinkle with the sliced basil and serve with additional buckwheat honey on the side.
Note: Roasted tomatoes can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.