Prep 10 mins
Cook 4 hrs
Fresh and fast, this delightful recipe came to me some years back from a cookbook entitled, well, "Fresh and Fast". Because you are working with fresh herbs, feel free to experiment with whatever you are able to get the freshest. This spread has a nice, light feel and taste, and beats dip-in-a-can any day of the week.
- 1 (15 ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese or 1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 garlic clove (crushed through a press)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leave (stripped from the stem)
- 1 pinch salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 basil leaves (rolled and cut into strip for garnish)
- Empty the container of ricotta into a strainer and place over a bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (You can cut down the drain time several ways - 1) don't bother to drain at all, you'll just have a lot more moisture in your final product 2) drain at room temperature for 1 hour or 3) just drain for as long as you have patience and then, proceed!).
- Combine drained ricotta, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
- Stir until blended.
- Mound onto the center of a shallow bowl or serving plate and drizzle with oil.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1/2 teasonpoon of thyme over the top. Garnish with strips of basil.
- Serve with crackers, bread, or raw vegetables.
- *I used the 4 hour drain time as the cooking time for this recipe*.