I have been on a whipped fresh ricotta kick – nay, a bender lately and I have no intention of stopping. I don’t know why I haven’t been making this all the time, and using it in all kinds of ways. It’s really one of those ridiculously easy ingredients/recipes that make you feel like a genius. You basically need fresh ricotta and a food processor, and you are in business.
When you scroll down to the recipe you will see that it’s really an almost-recipe, in that it can be described in two sentences. But I will use more sentences than that to tell you the ways I’ve been using it, and the ways I plan to use it.
I used it on this radicchio and blue cheese flatbread. Yum. I spooned it onto crostini and topped that with squares of roasted red pepper. Then I topped even more with roasted tomatoes.
Then I stuffed in under the skin of some chicken thighs and roasted that.
I would also love it paired with some grilled peaches and a drizzle of honey.
To my whipped ricotta I have added (so far) roasted red peppers, fresh basil, lemon zest and a basil and mint pesto. They have been sublime. I also plan to try adding some minced black olives (or green….).
I think this little recipe-trick is one of the best kept secrets in cooking – and then you can use it (plain or flavored) pretty much anywhere you would use fresh ricotta – lasagna, stuffed shells, even in a little ramekin as part of a cheese plate.
A note – this isn’t called Whipped Fresh Ricotta for nothing – it’s really only worth making with fresh ricotta cheese. I am super ok with using packaged ricotta from the refrigerator section of the supermarket for my lasagna and the like, but for this, where the ricotta is standing proudly all on its own, you’re going to want to seek out fresh.
Where can you find it? Cheese shops, Italian markets, nice deli counters.
One more thing to put in the hopper – a combination of whipped feta and ricotta is another kind of perfection. As you would imagine, it has a salty, tangy thing going on – and definitely taste and add salt more slowly, as the feta is salty. I used that on a butternut squash dish with salsa verde, which is coming on the blog soon. This is a dish that I can’t wait to make again, and it will be one of the reasons I will be less sad to head into colder weather.
Use half feta or goat cheese instead of the ricotta, and add a bit of lemon zest.
Once again, this could not be simpler. Taste and add salt as you blend – you don’t want too little salt (or too much, but you know this).
Other Dips and Spreads:
- Cannellini Bean Dip with Lemon and Parmesan
- Sesame Oil Hummus Without Tahini
- Edamame Pesto Dip
- Creamy Avocado Dip
Perfect Whipped Fresh Ricotta
- 2 cups whole milk fresh ricotta
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or more as desired; see Note
- Place the ricotta and salt and pepper in a food processor and start processing. Add the olive oil in a slow stream into the feed tub, and process until cery creamy. You can add additional olive oil (or a bit of fresh cream or milk; see Note) if desired.
VariationsWhipped Basil Ricotta
- Throw in a handful of chopped basil leaves (or some other herbs).
- Add 1 roasted, peeled and seeded red bell pepper. You may choose not to add any olive oil add all, since the roasted pepper will add so much moisture, but if you do want to add some olive oil, start with 1 tablespoon and go from there, or it might get very loose – but in that case you will have a lovely red pepper ricotta sauce, perfect for drizzling over a plate of sliced ripe tomatoes and onions, or using as a dip.
- Add 2 tablespoons of Mint Basil Pesto to the ricotta, and then start with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and go from there.
NoteYou could also use a combination of whole milk, half and half or cream and olive oil to loosen the ricotta and allow it to get whipped and creamy/fluffy.
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