Baked Ricotta

Baked Ricotta

Based on a recipe from “A Handful of Herbs” by Barbara Segall, Louise Pickford and Rose Hammick

  • 1 pound (500 g) ricotta cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 red chile, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 t. lightly crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 fresh bay leaves, lightly crushed
  • 1 T. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • basil oil

Put the ricotta in a foil-lined baking dish. Put the garlic, chile, coriander seeds and oil in a bowl and stir. Trickle the oil mixture over the cheese and tuck the bay leaves underneath.

Sprinkle parmesan, salt and pepper over the ricotta and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, basting halfway through the cooking time.

Serve the ricotta spread onto toasted bread sprinkled with basic oil or salsa verde. Serve topped with a little grated parmesan.

Note: (I found the foil was unnecessary. I laid out the bay leaves, put only half the ricotta in the dish, then sprinkled with a bit of parmesan, and drizzled with the oil, garlic and spices. Then I spread on the remainder of the ricotta and a bit more parmesan, followed by a last trickle of the oil mixture.)

Basil Oil

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil

Put the olive oil and basil in the blender and give it a whir – not to pulverize but just to break up the leaves a bit. Place the mixture in a saucepan and cook for several minutes. Let it sit for a bit – maybe 15 minutes or a half hour – to absorb all the flavors, then strain and use the oil, discarding the solids.