Something different for your next gathering! Fast and super easy to make, looks like something you’d get from a gourmet deli but is super cheap. This ticks all my “food for parties” boxes!
You know when you see a recipe for a fast, fabulous appetiser but when you read the recipe, the ingredients cost $30 involving things like a fillet of wild caught cedar smoked Alaskan salmon (don’t you dare think of getting less than the best!) and 5 different types of herbs? I see recipes like that in gourmet magazines and I so want to be that kind of person who can spend a small fortune to be able to make gourmet food fast.
But I’m not and never will be. I believe in and love quality ingredients, especially locally grown produce I often pick up at my local farmers’ market. And I will splurge on wild caught cedar smoked Alaskan salmon on occasion. But typically, I’ll serve things like that plain. Because my rule of thumb is: the more expensive an ingredient is, do less with it.
But on a day to day basis, I cook with everyday ingredients and actually thrive on coming up with “gourmet” and unique ways to dress up ordinary ingredients. Like ricotta. Your stock standard, supermarket ricotta. 🙂
The thing with this baked ricotta is that it is going to be better if you make it with a fresh Italian ricotta. But it is still really fabulous made with supermarket ricotta. Especially because I share my little tip for turning ordinary ricotta into a posh type ricotta. 🙂
Baking the ricotta creates a gorgeous golden crust on the surface and it’s beautifully warm and creamy inside. (PS The better the quality of the ricotta, the creamier). It spreads easily and is a dipping consistency too. I made this in two ramekins (well, tapas dishes) but you can make one large one OR even make individual ones to serve at a posh dinner party (ooh, that idea just popped in my head!).
Honestly. How can you compare this baked ricotta with dolloping a lump of ricotta on a cheese board? I know which one I would go for…. 😉
So….something different for your next party? – Nagi
- 2 cups of full fat ricotta , the best you can afford
- 1 to 3 tbsp full fat cream or milk , optional (only required if you aren't using fresh Italian ricotta)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 medium garlic cloves , minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Place the ricotta in a bowl. If you are using supermarket ricotta (as opposed to fresh Italian ricotta), it might be a bit dry. Use the cream or milk to loosen the ricotta into creamy "peanut butter" type consistency (ie. easily spreadable).
Add the lemon, garlic and salt and mix to combine.
Get to 1 cup capacity ramekins or any other oven proof dish (I used tapas dishes). Divide the ricotta between the dishes and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil (reserve other tbsp for after baking).
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven, drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil then serve immediately with toasted pieces of bread (tip: rub lightly with garlic - it's amazing!).
Fresh thyme, parsley or any other herbs, finely chopped (pictured)
Chopped tomatoes, red onion and parsley (pictured)
Finely chopped antipasto (eg olives, sun dried tomatoes)
1. Nutrition is for baked ricotta only.