Fresh ricotta is one of my favorite things on the planet, and a few years ago I learned how easy it is to make at home. I love it formed into light gnocchi and baked into rich pastas, folded into pancakes and used in desserts. But my absolute favorite way of enjoying fresh - preferably homemade - ricotta is also the simplest: served on lightly toasted crostini and drizzled with honey. There is nothing better.
Ok, so it's not a particularly original combination, but it always manages to please and impress when served as an hors d'oeuvres or at a cocktail party. I've seen other ways of making ricotta, but I love the simplicity of this method and the fact that it only uses two ingredients. —kmartinelli
Place buttermilk and milk in a pot, heat on med-low heat until it reaches 185F.
As it begins to separate into curds and whey stir to make sure no curds stick to the bottom and burn. As the temperature nears 185F, the whey will become clearer and the curds will coagulate.
Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Tie the ends of the chesecloth together and hang for 10-15 minutes. If you don't have cheesecloth use a few paper towels instead. Allow to strain for about 15 minutes. Remove from the cheesecloth and place in an airtight container.
Note: You can make any amount as long as you stick to a 4 parts milk to 1 part buttermilk ratio.
Crostini with Homemade Ricotta and Honey
Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Put in the oven and cook until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.
Remove bread slices from the oven. Arrange on a serving platter and top each with a dollop of fresh ricotta. Drizzle with honey and serve.
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.