Homemade Herb Ricotta


Summer Fest Ingredient: Herbs, Greens & Beans

Making ricotta cheese from scratch isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Start with a mix of milk and buttermilk and end with spoonful after spoonful of creamy homemade ricotta. Fold in your favorite fresh herbs and you’ve got a perfect pasta filling, an unbeatable crostini topper or my favorite addition to scrambled eggs.

Ricotta’s mild flavor makes it the perfect canvas for flavorful additions. I fold in chopped oregano, basil, chives and parsley and then mix in an entire clove of grated garlic. Spread it onto warmed toasts and drizzle with olive oil for the ultimate appetizer.

A full list of herbs, greens and bean recipes from my fellow Summer Fest 2010 bloggers is after the jump …

Homemade Herb Ricotta

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Ingredients:

8 cups whole milk
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Mix together the milk and buttermilk in a heavy-bottom sauce pot over medium-high heat.

Stir the mixture occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid scorching the milk.

Stop stirring once the milk is hot and curds begin to rise to the surface. Scrape the bottom of the pan again again one more time to free up any stuck curds.

Line a large sieve or colander with 5 to 6 layers of cheesecloth. Place the lined sieve or colander over a bowl.

The curds and whey will separate at around 175ºF. Allow the mixture to continue cooking until the top surface is covered with the separated curds. Remove the pan from the heat at this point and ladle the curds into the lined sieve or colander, allowing excess whey to drain into the bowl beneath it. Do not press the curds.

Pull up on the sides of the cheesecloth and tie the pouch closed. Allow the curds to drain for at least 15 minutes.

Once the curds have drained and are semi-firm, transfer the ricotta to a bowl and fold in the chopped fresh herbs, grated garlic, salt and pepper. Enjoy the herb ricotta immediately or refrigerate it in an airtight container for later use.

*Helpful hint: If the ricotta is too firm, simply add in a few tablespoons of the reserved hot whey (or hot water) and stir to soften the cheese.

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

Fellow Summer Fest 2010 Bloggers:

Comments

  1. 6
    #

    says

    Kelly, your photos are delicious! I just took a cheesemaking class and was amazing at how simple it was to make ricotta — I will have to add this to my recipe list.

  2. 8
    #

    says

    I made fresh ricotta last week and agree that it’s a MUST!!!

    At Flexitarian Foodie, we’re into beans and greens—together, or separately! Here are a few of our favorite related posts:

    Beans & Greens: The Soup
    http://www.flexitarianfoodie.com/2010/04/beans-n-greens-worlds-most-easy-going.html

    Creamy Vegetable Lasagna
    http://www.flexitarianfoodie.com/2010/04/transitioning-to-spring-with-veggie.html

    Avocado and Black Bean Enchiladas (my favorite!!!)
    http://www.flexitarianfoodie.com/2010/05/happy-cinco-de-mayo.html

  3. 11
    #

    says

    This is something I’ll have to try. I made ricotta before, but always using lemon juice or vinegar. I was satisfied with the results, but I am willing to try something new! And the addition of fresh herbs is a sure winner. Thank you for the inspiration.
    My contribution for this week’s Summer Fest is a story and a recipe for a comforting, vegetarian Bean Stew.
    http://bibberche.com/2010/08/bean-stew/

  4. 12
    #

    says

    I’ve been wanting to make ricotta for a while now and I think your post may have given me just the incentive I needed with your beautiful shots. I wish it wasn’t 10:40 pm or I’d be in the kitchen making cheese!

    I posted a Green Curry Shrimp recipe for my first Summer Fest contribution here: http://bit.ly/96cwR8

  5. 14
    #

    says

    I love ricotta and so does my husband. We always have it with something sweet. I can’t wait to try your version with the savory herbs. BTW, you do awesome work, love the photos!

  6. 16
    #

    Michelle says

    Sounds delicious!! Quick question for you. How long will the ricotta stay fresh in the fridge?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — August 3rd, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! It will last up to 3 days, as it’s best enjoyed fresh.

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