Herbed Whipped Ricotta

Fluffy, creamy herbed whipped ricotta is always a hundred points. The delicate whey curds of ricotta make a fantastic base for all kinds of flavors and layers. Served with Olivando, it’s sure to win over your dinner guests.

In all honesty, I didn’t much care for ricotta until I moved to Italy, which I attribute to the fact that store-bought ricotta is nothing like the fresh stuff. I didn’t appreciate the difference until last when year a local sheep farmer gave me a basket of ricotta from a batch he’d made the day before. Since I’m always trying to learn more about food from Italians, I asked him how he uses it in recipes and he responded with a slightly embarrassed chuckle followed by “la mangio a cucchiaio,” or “I eat it with a spoon.” Since that eye-opening moment, I’ve gotten somewhat addicted to it, and I’m not ashamed to say I also now eat it by the spoon. Lucky for me, I live in the land of pecore (sheep), and my weekly farmer’s market is full of options.

Which herbs are best for herbed whipped ricotta?

Here I’ve used chives, basil, and parsley, all of which I grow in my herb garden. I’ve also made herbed whipped ricotta with finely diced shallots, dill, mentuccia, oregano, and minced garlic. Use whatever combo suits your fancy! But take it easy on the lemon zest. Much more than a teaspoon, and the dish becomes too floral. Personally, I prefer the Monocultivar for this recipe.

What should I use to mix herbed whipped ricotta?

I have tried various approaches to mixing herbed whipped ricotta; high-speed blender, food processor, hand mixer, and just a good ole stir. By far, the superior method is a hand mixer. The final result is an even texture that remains light and airy. A blender or food processor removes the fluffiness, making the mixture too dense for my preference. They also require a pause, a scrape down, and several passes to fully incorporate the ingredients. Who’s got time for that?

How to serve herbed whipped ricotta

Herbed whipped ricotta makes a great appetizer, served along with toasted or grilled bread, fresh or slow roasted tomatoes, a drizzle of Olivando EVOO, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. We also like to incorporate it into a tomato and ricotta pasta, or just scoop it up with crackers! It’s best at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge and let it warm up before serving. No matter how you use it, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

2 cups ricotta
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Olivando EVOO, plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup minced herbs (chives, basil, parsley, and/or oregano)

Instructions

  1. Put ricotta in a medium bowl. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Use a hand mixer to blend until smooth, about a minute.

  2. Add chopped herbs and stir to combine.

  3. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil. Serve with toasted or grilled bread and fresh tomatoes. 

     

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