Appetizers are my favorite, maybe because I like to nibble. The great thing about appetizers is they are shareable and just fun to eat. Appetizers are almost a celebration in themselves; they are simple, light and delicious. They can be hot or cold, served before a meal or they can be the meal. And, if you want to get extra fancy you can call them hors d’oeuvres.
This Creamy Baked Ricotta with Lemon and Herbs is a perfect quick to make appetizer, and paired with bread or crackers and maybe some fruit you are set to go with little preparation.
Do you have a favorite herb, if so this recipe is totally adaptable so feel free to add what you like? Here’s a great tip. If you chop too many herbs like I do because I like chopping, don’t throw those extra herbs away just put them in a container to use in another dish or freeze the unused herbs to throw into a soup or stew or maybe some salsa.
Today’s herbs of choice are flat leaf parsley (I like the green color it adds), garlic chives from my garden, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Hmm, I was using my neighbor’s rosemary (she said I could) but then she dug it up so no rosemary today, but I highly recommend adding this very fragrant herb to this dish.
This is so colorful, another reason I like baking with herbs!
Grate some really good Parmesan cheese on top. I happened to have some cracked pepper Parmesan in the fridge, the pepper really adds some nice spice to the top. The cheese is Trader Joe’s Cracked Pepper Toscano, my favorite. So sprinkle a good handful of cheese over the top, and slice some for yourself for a pre-appetizer.
As always get that oven hot, so turn it on to 425 degrees and let’s start making the Baked Ricotta.
Creamy Baked Ricotta with Lemon and Herbs
- 1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tsp. chopped thyme
- 1 tsp. chopped chives
- 1/2 tsp. chopped rosemary optional
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 lemon grated
- 2 tbls. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbls. olive oil
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Chop all the herbs
- Grate the lemon
- In a medium size bowl combine the ricotta, herbs, salt and lemon zest.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture into a small baking dish or ramekin.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the ricotta
- Bake for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- If you want a nice brown top place the baking dish under the broiler.
- When done drizzle the olive oil on top of the ricotta while hot and a sprinkling of sea salt.
- Serve warm with bread or crackers.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the ricotta gets nice and bubbly and the top gets a little brown and your kitchen is smelling very aromatic.
Serve this right out of the oven while hot, Ok so not piping hot, but really warm.
Looks delicious. I paired the baked ricotta with my favorite Bogle Merlot and sat outside enjoying the end of summer.