Ricotta Spoonable

July  3, 2021
18 Ratings
Photo by Ellen Silverman
  • Prep time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Makes 2 cups
Author Notes

Excerpted with permission from Dorie Greenspan's Everyday Dorie:

Take a peek in my fridge, and you’ll find the usual staples—milk, butter, eggs and yogurt, and my favorite plus-one: “ricotta spoonable.” I started making it years ago and I’ve probably never made it the same way twice. It’s a mix of ricotta, lots of chopped herbs, freshly grated lemon zest, olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. It’s simple but special.
I prepare this year-round, changing the herbs according to what I have at hand, but I make it most often in summer, when I’m apt to fill the table with small plates of good stuff, things that don’t need to be eaten in any order and that lend themselves to mixing and matching. Put the spoonable into the mix, and it will match with beet salad (page 88), frittata (page 27), onion galette (page 54), charred peppers (page 39) and so many other dishes.
A Word on the Ricotta: If there’s liquid in the container, it’s best to drain the cheese. Line a strainer with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth, place it over a bowl, spoon in the ricotta, pull the cheesecloth around the cheese and weight it with a plate or a can of something. Put it in the refrigerator and let it drain for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.
Alternatively, you can make the spoonable, scrape it into a cheesecloth-lined strainer and refrigerate until needed. Do this, and when you turn out the ricotta, the cheesecloth’s mesh pattern will be visible — it’s pretty. —Dorie Greenspan

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Dorie Greenspan's Easy Trick for Perfectly Seasoned Roast Vegetables Every Time

Excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups (492 grams) whole-milk ricotta, drained if there’s liquid (see headnote)
  • 1 large lemon, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup (13 grams) minced mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, cilantro and/or basil
  1. Put the ricotta in a medium bowl. Finely grate the zest of the lemon over it, then halve and squeeze the lemon and blend in the juice. Stir in the shallots, scallions, olive oil, salt and a healthy pinch of pepper. Taste for salt and pepper, then stir in the herbs. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before adjusting for salt, pepper and lemon juice and serving.
  2. CHOICES: A dollop of this on a cracker or sliced baguette makes a good appetizer; more of it on dark bread with roasted tomatoes, charred lemons or sliced cucumbers makes a tartine; and a lot of it stirred into pasta makes a dinner.
  3. STORING: The spoonable is best the day it is made, but you can keep it for up to 2 days tightly covered in the refrigerator. Stir well before using.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nicole Otis
    Nicole Otis
  • Alynn Renee Dotson
    Alynn Renee Dotson
  • jelyapt
  • Lemoncello
With the publication her 14th book, Baking with Dorie, New York Times bestselling author Dorie Greenspan marks her thirtieth anniversary as a cookbook author. She has won five James Beard Awards for her cookbooks and journalism and was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. A columnist for the New York Times Magazine and the author of the xoxoDorie newsletter on Bulletin, Dorie was recently awarded an Order of Agricultural Merit from the French government for her outstanding writing on the foods of that country. She lives in New York City, Westbrook, Connecticut, and Paris. You can find Dorie on Instagram, Facebook, Bulletin and her website,

6 Reviews

Lemoncello November 4, 2023
This is fabulous. I went to a bakery by me where they bring in fresh ricotta every Friday. I also added the roasted tomato garlic confit and served it with top toasted ciabatta. Delish
Nicole O. July 15, 2021
Amazing recipe! Definitely need to drain the ricotta because there's more liquid in it than I originally thought. The flavors got even better the next day.
Alynn R. July 13, 2020
This looks absolutely delish and perfect for summer. Quick question, tho: That prep time must be a typo, no? 1 hour 10 mins?!
Raye A. June 15, 2021
It's supposed to chill for one hour.
jelyapt July 21, 2019
This is a great recipe for an appetizer with crackers or on toast for breakfast. I served it as an appetizer and everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. It was quick and easy to prepare too.
DC's P. July 5, 2019
I’ve done an anemic version of this ricotta dip for years and can’t wait to upgrade to this recipe.

PS: The scallion has been omitted from original recipe ingredient list.