Herb and Chilli Baked Ricotta with Preserved Lemon Pepperonata

, from Issue #70. December, 2016
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Herb and Chilli Baked Ricotta with Preserved Lemon Pepperonata

This is a wonderful warm snack to serve with drinks and share with friends. I love it with crackers or a loaf of fresh sourdough. The pepperonata can be made a day in advance.


¼ cup olive oil
½ red onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ preserved lemon, finely diced
2 red capsicums, core and seeds removed, sliced thinly
1 yellow capsicum, core and seeds removed, sliced thinly
14 kalamata olives (I prefer those with the pits removed)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Baked ricotta
500 grams ricotta
1 free-range egg
¾ cup finely grated parmesan
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
sea salt and black pepper
To serve
crackers or fresh bread


Pepperonata: Preheat oven to 180°C. Add the olive oil to a sauté pan over a medium heat. Gently cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, without browning.

Add the fennel seeds and preserved lemon and cook for a further minute.

Add the capsicum and sauté for 15–20 minutes until the capsicums are glossy and tender. Add the olives and cider vinegar.

Transfer to a medium-sized ovenproof dish and bake for 35 minutes. The edges of the capsicum should be lightly browned. Season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baked ricotta: Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and run until smooth. Season well. Grease a 12cm x 22cm ovenproof dish. Spoon the ricotta mixture into it and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 30–35 minutes until lightly golden. Serve immediately.