Delicious & Easy
How to Make the Ultimate Homemade Ricotta Board
About this recipe
To keep things easy, our board features ricotta from Bellwether Farms, a family-owned, herbicide- and artifical-fertilizer free farm and artisan creamery located in Sonoma County, California. It's hard to resist eating a whole basket by the spoonful.
If you’re feeling up for a next-level challenge, try making fresh ricotta with this easy recipe from Gina Freize, founder of Venissimo Cheese. You'll save a few dollars and have a bigger batch of ricotta with unparalled flavor to devour.
Step 1: Make Fresh, Fluffy Ricotta
Equipment: cheesecloth, thermometer, colander and large non-aluminum stock pot. Curds and Wine in Clairemont is great for cheesemaking needs.
Combine ingredients in a large stock pot and heat over medium until mixture reaches 180 degrees (just before boiling), stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and let sit uncovered for 20 minutes.
Line colander with cheesecloth. After 20 minutes, gently pour the cheese into the lined strainer set over a large bowl to catch the liquid, or whey. Whey can be used for making bread, soup stock or fertilizing plants (within 2-3 days).
Hang the ball of cheese in the cheesecloth over a sink or bowl and let it drain until most of the whey is gone and the cheese is cool, or to desired dryness.
Notes: Citric acid can be found at Sprouts and International Markets across San Diego County. For best results use whole milk from Rockview and Alta Dena brands. For this recipe avoid using organic milks which are often ultra-pasteurized weakening the bonds needed to form the curd in the cheesemaking process.
Step 2: Make Pistou
Make your own pistou by combining several handfuls of green herbs (basil, parsley, mint) with a fist of carrot tops, raw garlic, and a generous glug or two of olive oil and blend until smooth.
Season with salt to taste and add extra olive oil until it’s the perfect consistency for drizzling directly over ricotta.
This herbaceous sauce is ready to use right away but only gets better with time in the fridge so extras never go to waste. Over the week use it in salad dressings, as a condiment for grilled or roasted proteins, or simply tossed with your favorite pasta.
Step 3: Build Your Board
Creating a beautiful board is half the fun. Choose fresh, local veggies like baby carrots, sweet peas, watermelon radishes, and edible flowers to act as vehicles for scooping up your fresh ricotta. Use your imagination. Start with a smear of cheese and a drizzle of pistou, then build around it working outward.