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Rosemary and Garlic Baked Ricotta

I’ve always liked the idea of making baked ricotta at home but I’ve never found the right ricotta to do it; until now.  I have started to make my own cheese and ricotta is the first type I have mastered (there’s not a lot to it). Some of the other cheeses are proving a little bit trickier, but ricotta is easy to make and tastes better than the majority of the stuff I buy, so in my book that’s a winner!

The main reason I have never baked a ricotta at home is because it can be difficult to buy the right kind of ricotta to bake.  I can buy whole ricotta in the supermarket but it is either too big (1kg is even too much for me as an avid cheese lover) or too moist.  So when I made my last batch of ricotta I decided to rectify this problem.  I drained some of the ricotta for longer than the recipe recommended in a plastic container with a basket, with the hope of producing a block of cheese that would hold together sufficiently well to bake.

I wasn’t sure whether it would work when I started but after a week I took the cheese out of the basket and it was a good solid lump of cheese ready to be baked. Fantastic, just what I had intended.

I think ricotta would taste good baked just the way it is, but I can never leave things just as they are, I always have to meddle, so I pimped up the ricotta with some herbs and garlic.

This recipe is also a great way of showing off ricotta and making it the star of the show on the cheeseboard.  Ricotta doesn’t often feature on a cheese board becuase unless it is really good, it can be a little bland.  I can tell you now though, this cheese will feature on many of my dinner party cheese boards from now on.

To serve the ricotta, I enjoyed it on a mini crostini biscuit and it was also good with vegetable antipasto. I also wouldn’t say no to eating it with a spoon.

Rosemary and Garlic Baked Ricotta

250g piece of firm ricotta
1 garlic clove, crushed
tiny pinch of rock salt
30ml olive oil
1 -2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
cracked black pepper and salt to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C

Pound the garlic and a tiny bit of rock salt in a pestle and mortar until it forms a smooth paste. Add 30ml  of olive oil to the garlic mix and stir to combine. Rub the ricotta with the olive oil and garlic mixture.

Cover a wooden chopping board with the chopped rosemary and pepper and roll the ricotta over it to evenly cover the sides and the top with the mixture.  Depending on how salty the ricotta is you may also need to season with a tiny bit more salt.  I didn’t put herbs on the bottom of the ricotta as I found the bottom burnt, although this did leave me with a tasty crunchy bit.

Place the ricotta on an oiled baking tray, herb side up.  Drizzle with a tiny bit more oil if you think it needs it then bake in the pre-heated oven for twenty minutes, or until firm and golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

The baked ricotta also tastes good crumbled over pasta or risotto and can be rolled in pretty much any herbs that take your fancy.

Comments

Comment from Lizzy (Good Things)
Time January 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Yum! looks and sounds divine.

Comment from Julie
Time January 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Nic that looks so delicious. Love following your cheese and extra recipes :)

Comment from nic
Time January 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thanks to you both!

And Julie, I have mozzarella in the fridge and feta take two hanging in the kitchen, so there will be more posts soon!

Comment from Miss Piggy
Time January 30, 2012 at 9:47 am

I’m so impressed that you are making your own cheese! And this looks so darn tasty.

Comment from nic
Time January 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Thanks Miss Piggy, you’ll have to come over and sample some soon!

Comment from muppy
Time February 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

This looks amazing!!!! I want to make it :)
I was thinking about inviting you and your partner over for a BBQ by the pool later in feb…..?

Comment from Henry
Time February 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

Mmm, think I’ll have to give this a go! I’m enynjiog making lots of home made things like jams and marmalades at the moment, so this would be another one to add to the collection. Would it be suitable for freezer storage if there’s too much for me to make in one go?

Comment from Deanne Hounsham
Time June 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I just made some fresh ricotta, am now going to try this. Yummmmmo!

Comment from Stephanie
Time August 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

This is genius! I am so going to try this for our Christmas tree decorating party in December. We always have a selection of cheeses

Comment from nic
Time September 1, 2012 at 8:19 am

Thanks Stephanie! It is a little addictive, I love it!

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