If you know me at all, you know I have a deep love for ricotta — it's probably one of the first five things I'll tell you about myself. I love its creaminess, simplicity, and versatility. So when I spotted this playful-sounding recipe in Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook, Everyday Dorie, I knew I needed to try it.
Dorie says: "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.'" This mix of ricotta, lemon, shallots, and fresh herbs is what she keeps on hand to act as both a dip and a condiment. It comes together quickly and can be made year-round, so it's no wonder she always has it on hand (and now, so do I).
The Versatile Fridge Staple You Didn't Know You Needed
When Dorie says this ricotta is worthy of being a staple in your kitchen, she isn't kidding. After making it just once, I was convinced, and since then I've made it many, many more times. It's barely a recipe: Mix whole-milk ricotta with lemon zest and juice, stir in a good amount of shallots, scallions, and whatever fresh herbs you have on hand (such as basil, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, dill) and finish it out with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
The resulting mixture is part dip, part condiment. You can serve it with crackers or crostini for a snack or appetizer, but my favorite way to use it is as a condiment. Swipe some on toast and top with tomato slices for lunch, toss a few spoonfuls with hot pasta for a quick and creamy dinner, stir it into scrambled eggs, or dollop a bit on a salad or a plate of roasted vegetables to add intrigue and a bit of protein.
Ricotta Spoonable keeps for a couple of days in the fridge, although with its many uses, you'll go through it much faster than that.
Dorie Greenspan's Ricotta Spoonable
Makes about 2 cups
whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained if there’s liquid
large lemon, or more to taste
minced shallots, rinsed and patted dry
scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
extra-virgin olive oil
About 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
(15 grams) minced mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, cilantro and/or basil
Put the ricotta in a medium bowl. Finely grate the zest of 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.
Serving options: A dollop of this on a cracker makes a good aperitif; 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.
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.