I’ve been feeling a bit DIY these days. And I blame it all on fall.

Homemade pizza dough, fresh baked bread from MY oven and even making tofu from scratch (a blog post is coming soon, I promise you won’t want to miss it!)

So after trolling through several recipes for homemade ricotta, I pulled up my bootstraps, dashed to the store for a new aka un-cracked candy thermometer and gave it a whirl.

May I just say, in my best Giada voice with a trill of the ‘R’, “REEE-COOOAAA-TA!” Seriously? Making ricotta is THIS EASY? And THIS QUICK? It takes me more time to put on my makeup in the morning. Why have I never tried becoming a cheesemaker before?

Next time I’ll experiment with the amount of time I let the cheese drain in the colander—similar to the tofu pressing process—and see what sort of variety I get in the cheese’s texture. Maybe a bit creamier, maybe a bit firmer. Either which way, I know I’m going to love it.

Baked Ricotta Crostini | Foodiecrush.comIf you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.

Baked Peppered Ricotta Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes
Fresh and easy appetizer for any occasion.
Fresh Ricotta Cheese
  • from Donna Hay magazine
  • makes 1¼ cups
  • 6 cups (48 fl oz) full cream milk
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • In a saucepan, adjust a candy thermometer to side and cook milk over medium heat to 176 degrees F. Remove from heat, add vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes until curds form. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Using a slotted spoon, Carefully transfer curds to the colander and allow to drain for 5 minutes. Spoon ricotta into a glass or ceramic dish, cover and store in refrigerator for up to one week.
Baked Peppered Ricotta Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes
  • inspired by Donna Hay magazine
  • serves 4-6 as an appetizer
  • for peppered ricotta crostini
  • 1¼ cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 slices french or sourdough baguette
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon ricotta into 2 large ramekins or other bake-to-serve vessel (6 oz) and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and golden. While ricotta is baking, lightly oil baguette slices and toast. To plate, serve baguette slices topped with baked ricotta mixture, roasted tomatoes* and sprinking of fresh thyme leaves. Serve additional ricotta on the side for extra dipping opportunities.
  • *for roasted tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a bowl, toss tomatoes with a few drizzles of olive oil, just enough to coat. Cut tomatoes in half and place seed side up on a foil-covered cookie sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and roast in oven for 2- 2/12 hours, depending on size of tomatoes. Remove when edges are crisped but tomatoes still have some plump. Store in olive oil for up to one week.

And now, for a little more cheesey appetizer goodness.

FoodieCrush Dishing Up Delights Ricotta and Fig photo > Dishing Up Delights

With just a 5 ingredients, making sure they’re at optimal freshness is the secret to Dishing Up Delights’ come-together-in-five-minutes Figs with Fresh Ricotta and Pistachios appetizer. For a creamier cheese texture, next time give marscarpone a try.

FoodieCrush Bellalimento Fried Olives Stuffed with Ricottaphoto > Bell’alimento

Bite size poppers from the homemade ricotta queen herself, Paula shares Bell’alimento’s Fried Olives Stuffed with Cheeses and Herbs of which she has annointed “the incredibly addictive app”. I’m puckering already.

FoodieCrush Five and Spice Zucchini Ricotta Frittersphoto > Five and Spice

When Amy described her Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters as “sizzling little guys practically grow legs as they come off the griddle and go leaping right into your mouth” it was a no-brainer that this recipe from Five and Spice was going to put my zucchini garden straight out of business.

This Wednesday will be our Family Food Flashback with a round-up of childhood faves. If you have a fave you’d like to submit to the Flashback, e-mail me by Tuesday, Oct.4 by 3 p.m. with a link to your post or link to your post on Twitter with the hashtag #familyfoodflash.

We’re ramping up for debut issue of FoodieCrush magazine. When will November 15 get here already? If you’re interested in advertising and partnership opportunities, contact me at heidi at foodiecrush dot com.

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