Fried Ricotta with a Little Tomato Salad

Ricotta cakes with a little tomato salad

Lately, I’ve become a bit obsessed with making ricotta cheese. You see, every week I get a couple of litres of milk. Raw milk actually and while much of it is consumed in morning coffees or with cereal or by making yogurt there will often be a few cups left. Raw milk doesn’t have the same long shelf life that pasteurized milk does so it needs to be used up within the week.

What started as a way of preserving the milk has blossomed into a bit of a love affair. Making ricotta is so straight forward and takes very little time. You can certainly use any whole milk that you happen to have on hand. Combine it with some heavy cream, buttermilk, a pinch of salt and (perhaps) a squeeze of lemon juice. The creamy, pillowy texture of homemade ricotta is just so different than store bought stuff. And there is a beautiful, ethereal tang from the buttermilk. There are plenty of recipes and even a video or two on the internet if you feel like giving it a whirl.

The great thing about ricotta is that it can be used so many ways. Yes, it is of course great in lasagna and manicotti but is equally at home in a pancake batter and in both sweet and savory tarts. Spread it on garlic toasts and top with some wilted bitter greens.

Here is a great little recipe that takes fluffy, silky ricotta and combines it with some Parmesan cheese, a bit of flour, an egg and some salt and pepper. I like to add in some minced fresh thyme leaves as well.

Fried in a hot skillet with some olive oil these are a bit crisp on the outside, meltingly soft on the inside.

I will often make them for lunch when I am on my own at home but they also work well as an hors d’oeuvres with a small spoonful of the tomato salad on top. It is important to make sure these get eaten while they are still hot from the pan, so cooking these for a large crowd is not ideal.

After all of my waxing poetic about the joys of making your own ricotta these little fritters can certainly be made with store bought ricotta. Just ensure you buy it from a good deli or specialty market where they tend to have better quality ricotta than you will find at the supermarket!



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One Response to Fried Ricotta with a Little Tomato Salad

  1. I love making ricotta. I am so jealous you get raw milk. I grew up on it. Unfortunately it is banned in LA. I can’t wait to try your fritters while I still have tomatoes and basil in the garden.

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