In this recipe ricotta cheese is combined with honey, olive oil, red pepper and oregano for a slightly sweet and spicy seasoned appetizer. It comes together in a matter of minutes and the grilled bread elevates it and makes it seem like you’ve been cooking all day.
Whipping ricotta changes the texture of it, making it completely smooth and fluffy rather than grainy. This popular Italian cheese is made from the whey leftover from the production of other cheeses. It has a mildly sweet flavor and is extremely versatile. The whipped ricotta pairs perfectly with crisp toasts. For a more savory flavor profile I’d recommend this whipped ricotta and hazelnut toasts.
Whip the ricotta by hand or add to a food processor fit with a blade attachment for an easy shortcut that takes less work!
Ricotta is a mild, soft and creamy Italian cheese that is made from the leftover whey created when making mozzarella and other similar cheeses. The texture and look is similar to cottage cheese. I always choose whole milk ricotta over part-skim because the latter can be watery.
Honey adds a natural sweetness that enhances and complements the creamy ricotta and spices.
The acidity of the lemon juice balances the other flavors.
While all olive oil comes from the fruit of olive trees, it’s not all created equal. Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and made from pure, cold-pressed olives, giving it more of a true olive taste. Regular olive oil is made from a blend of both cold-pressed and processed oils. I typically cook with extra-virgin olive oil when deciding between the two. Olive oil has a lower smoke point than many other oils, making it better for lower temperature cooking. Save pricey olive oils for finishing the recipe where the flavors will really shine – like in dips, for breads and salad dressing.
The whipped ricotta is topped with a slightly spicy, herby blend of crushed red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper.
I like using a crusty loaves bread for more crispy surface area for spreading though you can also slice up a baguette. I love the smoky flavor grilling the bread adds to this recipe.
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