Herb Infused Ricotta Whey

September 19, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves what you have planned for
Author Notes

I grew up with farm fresh homemade ricotta thanks to my grandmother and I vividly remember seeing tasty logs of it refrigerating; I was like a kid in a candy store, sneaking a taste whenever I got the chance…it was that good!

During cheese making, soft white curds rise to the top, separating, leaving the whey, a watery liquid underneath - dumped out by some cooks! However, there are a variety of uses for whey.

Traditionally, ricotta, meaning twice cooked, is made by reheating the whey by-product from certain hard cheeses. But, a ricotta-like cheese can be made by extracting curds from milk, now days, a popular method used by home cooks.

This posting is about the left over whey by-product from your favorite homemade ricotta in which the curds have been extracted from milk. Ricotta whey extracted from milk is watery, yet at the same time milky with a pleasant taste and aroma, kind of like skim milk, so I don’t discard it; I infuse it with flavors to make béchamel sauce, soups or use in breads; if not used in a couple days I freeze it (pictured) for a later use.

What You'll Need
  • INGREDIENTS for 3-4 quarts of whey
  • 3 Thyme sprigs
  • Sage sprig
  • Rosemary sprig
  • Smashed garlic at least 4 – or to your taste
  1. Bring all ingredients to a simmer for 10 minutes, turn off the burner and let steep 20 minutes. Pull out the herbs and garlic.
  2. Use as needed or refrigerate for a couple days. After that, freeze in one cup proportions.
  3. Special Note: A favorite ricotta & its whey spring recipe of mine is Asparagus Lasagna posted here on Food52:
  4. http://www.food52.com/recipes/10414_roasted_asparagus_lasagna
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lune
  • PRST
  • em-i-lis
  • boulangere
  • TiggyBee

16 Reviews

Lune May 16, 2015
Thank you for the inspiration! I was looking for a way to use the whey from the goat milk ricotta I make... I did go a different way with more north African/Indian fragrances: clove, cumin seeds, cardamom pod, fenugreek etc.... It smells delightful!
lapadia May 17, 2015
Hi Lune, am happy you found this recipe, thanks for the feedback, love the direction your seasonings took it...and hope there will be many other "whey adventures" :)
PRST June 26, 2013
Oh lapadia, thanks so much.... as you know I make a lot of ricotta!
lapadia June 26, 2013
Yes, I do know!! I can't wait to make time for the recipe you posted, takes a little bit of planning, but I will get to it :)!
em-i-lis June 25, 2013
whey makes me so happy! it is now my go to roasting liquid for fish- pour a few tablespoons over fish in a foil-packet, et voila! this would be perfect for that!
lapadia June 25, 2013
Hi Em! Your comment makes me so happy, and what a great idea with your fish, will try that and probably be hooked on it, too!
boulangere June 24, 2013
I collect and use whey in boring things like muffins and quick breads, but your idea thinks outside the whey and takes it in lots of lovely directions. I see a bread in the future . . . Thank you for a perfect idea.
lapadia June 24, 2013
Thanks, B! I am sure you will create a winner,yum. I've made some tasty creamy soups with whey.
TiggyBee September 21, 2010
Love this!! Fantastic!! : )
lapadia June 24, 2013
Hi TB, I've no clue how I missed your reply..so long ago, there was a period of time my email notifications were not working, this might be it. Anyway, thanks!
AntoniaJames September 20, 2010
lapadia, do you use fraichement's recipe for making ricotta? I'm gearing up to make my own, for the first time! Thank you. ;o)
lapadia September 20, 2010
Hi AntoniaJames, ricotta is fun to make; I did not use fraichment's recipe...used one very similar, however, I would highly recomment hers. The one I used, is on my food site: http://lapadia.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/homemade-ricotta/
she uses more buttermilk I use one part cream, you could copy and paste the link to view my "pictured" steps. PS - got your message and replied, I have never used that F52 feature, a couple of features do not work for me, so let me know if you received it! Can't wait to hear about your ricotta making adventure, I know you will love it!
melissav September 19, 2010
great post. I never know what to do with the whey and always hate just dumping it.
lapadia June 24, 2013
Hi Melissa, I've no clue how I missed your reply..so long ago, there was a period of time my email notifications were not working, this might be it. Anyway, thanks!
vvvanessa September 19, 2010
awesome ideas!
lapadia June 24, 2013
Thanks V! I missed this reply from so long ago...oops!