Usually half-used containers of anything make me want to pull my hair out as I scramble for ways to use them up before the contents go bad. Not so with ricotta! In fact, I find myself looking forward to having a few spoonfuls leftover from a recipe just so I can use them however I want. My favorite nefarious uses for leftover ricotta? Here are five to try.
1. Ricotta Tartines: This is just a fancy way of saying that I spread ricotta on toast and top it with whatever veggies I have in the fridge — sliced radishes, a handful of arugula, leftover caramelized onions. In the spring and summer, this is one of my favorite insta-lunches.
2. Ricotta Sundaes: Ever tried topping a scoop of ricotta with ripe strawberries and a drizzle of honey? Heavenly. Juicy blackberries and a sprinkle of brown sugar? Ditto. Ricotta with any seasonal fruit is pure pleasure.
3. Ricotta Vinaigrette: Whisking a few spoonfuls of ricotta into a simple vinaigrette makes the whole salad feel restaurant-fancy. I love the pretty flecks of ricotta on the dark green leaves and the touch of richness in every bite.
4. Ricotta Pizza: If I have a cup or more of leftover ricotta, I'll use it as a base instead of sauce — I just spread it right on the round of raw pizza dough and proceed with toppings. I love this with everything from cooked sausage to thinly sliced sweet potatoes, as in this recipe for Sweet Potato, Ricotta, and Arugula Flatbread. Don't have quite enough ricotta for this? Try dotting spoonfuls of it on the top of the pizza before baking.
5. Ricotta Eggs: If no other ricotta-using opportunities arise during the week, I can always rely on Saturday morning scrambled eggs. Just whisk that ricotta right on in there with the eggs and prepare to amaze your fellow breakfasters with the creaminess and fluffiness of their scramble.
What are your favorite ways to use ricotta?
(Image: Emma Christensen)