So the other day, last Friday to be exact, I made cheese. It was a triumphant day in the Small Boston Kitchen as I stirred and cooked, drained and cooled my first batch of homemade ricotta cheese. I was literally dancing around my apartment in celebration. I had made three beautifully tasty cups of cheese and a celebration was in order!
Then, three days later and countless portions of baked melty ooey gooey cheesy pasta later, it occurred to me that I still had about 2 cups left to go. Since I absolutely hate wasting food (especially food of the delicious homemade cheese kind) I had to get a little creative and start coming up with it all. I had my friend Fiona coming over the other night for a drink before we headed out for the night and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out a new dip.
I'll say, for just grabbing a bunch of stuff out of my refrigerator, chopping it up and stirring it all together, this was awesome. So quick and easy (it took about a whopping 10 minutes to pull together and that doesn't include the time I spent still dancing around with excitement about my cheese endeavors). I never knew how versatile ricotta could be! This dip would be great as a compliment to some veggies (I know that moving forward, this will be my standard veggie dip) or it would be fantastic stuffed into one of those big sourdough bowls with chunks of bread to dunk into it. You could also just serve it on plain old crackers (like I did) or it could even double as a sauce for pasta or a spread for sandwiches. (Mmmm, hearty slices of fresh ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil leaves and some prosciutto stuffed between two pieces of super fresh bread, how awesome does that sound, right?). Clearly, there's a lot you can do with this versatile little creation. Let me know if you give it a try and if you did, what did you eat it with?
Roasted Red Pepper Ricotta Dip
*Makes about a little over a cup
- 1/2 roasted red pepper, finely diced
- About a cup of fresh ricotta cheese (store bought works fine but if you have the time or can find it in an Italian grocery store, fresh ricotta is way delicious!)
- *A splash or two of milk or cream (*Only if using a thick homemade ricotta)
- A couple generous pinches of dried or fresh rosemary
- A couple pinches of dried or fresh oregano
- A couple pinches of dried or fresh basil
- About a tbs of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A couple drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Combine all above ingredients into a bowl and stir throughly. For best results, make up a couple of hours in advance and store in the refrigerator.
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