Whenever I make this delicious cheese, friends are always surprised at how quick and easy it is to make. Here are three suggestions for topping the fresh ricotta bruschetta. Even something as simple as a drizzle of good olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper is delicious.
1 recipe fresh ricotta, recipe below
slices grilled or toasted sourdough bread
100 grams thinly sliced prosciutto
200 gram jar grilled artichokes, drained
Mixed tomato and Anchovy salad, recipe below
Silky zucchini with lemon and basil, recipe below
7 cups full cream milk
1 cup cream
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons fennel seeds wrapped in a small piece of muslin cloth, optional
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Silky Zucchini with Lemon and Basil
¼ cup olive oil
500 grams zucchini, trimmed and grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch chilli flakes
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
small handful fresh basil, chopped
sea salt and ground pepper
Mixed Tomato and Anchovy Salad
2 cups cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 anchovy fillets, chopped (I used Ortiz brand)
1 clove garlic, crushed
pinch chilli flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
Fresh Ricotta: Line a large sieve with a double layer of damp muslin cloth and set over a large bowl or saucepan.
Put the milk, cream, salt and bag of fennel seeds (if using), into a large saucepan over a medium heat. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to prevent it catching on the base of the pan.
When it comes to the boil, remove the fennel seeds and turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and stir until the milk starts to split into curds and whey. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes for the curds to set.
Using a slotted spoon, gently scoop all the curds out and place them in the sieve. Leave to drain for about 1 hour. Discard the whey in the saucepan.
The cheese is creamy and silky when it’s freshly made. If a firmer texture is desired, cover the cheese, still in the sieve set over the bowl, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. As more whey drains, the cheese will firm up. Best used within 2 days.
Mixed Tomato and Anchovy Salad: Put the tomatoes in a serving bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil, anchovies, garlic, chilli and rosemary in a small sauté pan over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the anchovies dissolve. Take off the heat and stir in the vinegar and onion.
Pour over the tomatoes and combine. Serve at room temperature.
Silky Zucchini with Lemon and Basil: Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat and add the zucchini, garlic, and chilli. Season generously, cover and cook until the zucchini are very tender and starting to collapse. Stir frequently to prevent it catching on the base of the pan. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and the basil. Serve at room temperature.