There is so much you can do with ricotta: A dollop of ricotta takes grilled veggies to the next level. It’s delicious on a slice of toasted baguette. Or you can stir ricotta in your favorite pasta dish or even scrambled eggs. And making your own is easier than you think. In this recipe, we’re dressing our ricotta up with fresh basil and lemon but we also love to stir in chili flakes and honey. Or, don’t add anything. Eat it naked! (To be clear, not while naked… unless you’re into eating cheese while being naked--no judgments here). However you decide eat your ricotta, try making your own. You’ll thank us!
1 quart whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Fine mesh strainer
Line a sieve or fine mesh strainer with three layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk, cream and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly so the milk doesn’t burn. This should take 10-12 minutes. Once the milk boils, reduce the heat to low so that the milk is at a low simmer. Add in the lemon juice and continue stirring until the milk begins to curdle, about 2 minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the lined sieve and set aside to strain for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how thick or thin you want the consistency of your ricotta cheese. The longer it strains, the thicker the cheese. Discard the liquid and transfer the ricotta to a bowl. Stir in the basil and lemon zest and chill until cold.