Herbed Ricotta Spread

The flavor of fresh ricotta is so beautiful that nothing more than some fresh herbs and high-quality olive oil need be added to create a lovely dish. While the ricotta is still slightly warm, toss it with herbs from your garden and your favorite olive oil, and spread it on some warm bread for a decadent snack.

Serves | 6 |

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt, plus additional to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, tarragon, etc.)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 baguette, sliced and toasted

| Preparation | Pour whole milk into a large pot (at least 6-quart) and place on low heat. Gradually increase the heat, allowing the milk to slowly come to a very soft boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden or rubber spoon. Using an instant-read thermometer, continue to heat the milk until it reaches 180°F.

Slowly pour in the buttermilk. Curds will immediately start to form. Season with 1 Tbsp kosher salt. (Less may be used if you prefer a subtler flavor.) Return milks to 180°F, and then remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.

Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and place over an empty stockpot. Carefully strain the milk mixture through the colander and let drain for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of curd you desire (let sit longer for a firmer curd).

Transfer 2 cups of the strained curds to a mixing bowl and gently toss with herbs, olive oil and salt to taste. Serve at room temperature with toasted baguette slices. Remaining ricotta will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Chef Cassandra Vires received her culinary training in Houston, Texas, and has a knack for reimagining classic dishes. Her new restaurant, Home Wine Kitchen, opens this month in Maplewood.