Appetizer ruts happen much like any other rut. And they happen for a reason: we're creatures of habit. I know what I like to have around the house, and I'm in the routine of stocking up on good cheese, crackers and olives at the store. But for evenings when something more exciting is called for: baked ricotta is often the answer.
The reason I love baked ricotta is because it's so simple and you can fold in any variety of herbs or chopped greens that you'd like. It also feels much more special than simply setting cheese out to slice, and can be reheated the next day to slather on top of toast in the morning or to dollop into green salads or spring pastas in the evening.
Baked ricotta is also a really nice way to break into soufflés if you've been curious about them: most baked ricotta recipes call for an egg or two, inviting the fluffy cheese to dome up in the oven ever so slightly much like a soufflé . But the good part: with soufflés, you often have to think about your folding technique, and worry about whether or not your end product might fall. Thankfully you can leave those concerns at the door: with baked ricotta, it's all good.
A Few Good Starter Recipes:
• Baked Ricotta (pictured) - Macheesmo
• Baked Ricotta with Goat Cheese and Candied Tomatoes - Food 52
• Herbed Ricotta with Roasted Peppers - Food and Wine
Related: Top Five Things to Do With Ricotta