Homemade Ricotta and Herbed Ricotta Bruschetta

Last year sometime, I came across Ina Garten’s (aka The Barefoot Contessa’s) recipes for homemade ricotta and herbed ricotta bruschetta.  Since I love many of her recipes, I decided to try making my own ricotta from scratch and then making the bruschetta.  I had to force myself to stop eating it.  It was divine…and easy!  So, I wanted to share the recipe with you.  It would make a perfect appetizer for Easter dinner, or as the shining star of an Easter brunch menu.  Brunch-style, I love to eat the bruschetta alongside a green salad or a warm bowl of my favorite soup.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Homemade Ricotta

Ingredients

4 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp. coarse salt

3 Tbsp. vinegar

Preparation

Place the milk, cream, and salt in a pot and bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

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Then, turn the heat off and stir in the vinegar.

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Allow the mixture to stand for 5-10 minutes as it curdles.

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Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined (or clean dishtowel-lined) colander.

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Allow it to drain at room temperature for 20 minutes to an hour. The longer you allow the ricotta to drain, the drier it will get.

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Spoon the ricotta off the top and discard the liquid (or use it in smoothies for added nutrition…it contains a lot of whey).

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The ricotta will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.  You can freeze it also, but when thawed, it will not have the same consistency as the fresh ricotta.  This matters for some recipes (like the ricotta bruschetta recipe I present below where the ricotta is the star ingredient); however, it doesn’t matter for other recipes (like lasagna where the ricotta plays a supporting role to the noodles, sauce, veggies and/or meat).  This recipe yields about 2 cups.

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Herbed Ricotta Bruschetta

Ingredients

2 cups homemade ricotta

3 Tbsp. scallions, minced

2 Tbsp. dill, minced

1 Tbsp. chives, minced

1 tsp. coarse salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Preparation

For the bruschetta, combine the ricotta with the minced herbs, salt, and pepper.  Brush slices of bread with extra virgin olive oil, toast each side until light brown, rub with a garlic clove, and spread the herbed ricotta on top.  And, now, try not to eat all of the ricotta in one sitting!  🙂

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