Making homemade ricotta is really easy! After recently discovering this I have been on a ricotta making binge for a few weeks. This dip can be an unexpected light twist at a Super Bowl party or can be spread on crostinis and served at a brunch along with mimosas. Now that sounds like the best of both worlds…
herb and lemon ricotta dip
ricotta: (makes 12-15 oz)
6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
12-15 oz fresh or store bought ricotta
1/3 cup chopped parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 head of garlic, roasted and smashed
2 tsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
salt and pepper to taste
Bring milk, cream and salt to a boil. Stir frequently so the milk does not scorch the pan and be careful of the mixture boiling over. Once the mixture comes to a boil immediately take pot off the stove and add vinegar. Stir a few times gently and let mixture sit. You will begin to see curds forming.
Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes. While it sits, prepare strainer by wetting cheese cloth (or very thin towel) and lining a strainer with cloth. After 15 minutes pour mixture into strainer. You may need to pour out some of the whey from the lower bowl to give the strainer room to continue straining. Once the majority of the whey has passed through the strainer, tighten cheese cloth and tie in bundle and leave in strainer. The longer you allow the ricotta to strain the firmer and more crumbly it will get. For a smoother ricotta, remove from cheesecloth earlier. Continue to check it until it is the texture you desire (1 1/2 hours worked well for the dip) Refrigerate to cool while finishing straining. The ricotta will last in a airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.
Allow dip to cool to room temperature if using ricotta immediately or allow ricotta to come to room temperature if it has been refrigerated.
Mix ricotta, parsley, garlic, juice of half the lemon, 2 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper until everything is well incorporated. Taste for salt and pepper. Place mixture in serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil and remaining lemon juice. Serve with crostinis, crackers or vegetables.