Ricotta & Gremolata Crostini
To make homemade ricotta you simply need a stove, milk, cream and an acid such as lemon or white wine vinegar. That’s it. Once made, fresh ricotta will last about a week, but I bet that you’ll find a variety of ways to use it before then.
Here’s one of the fresh and original ways we used ours.
Homemade Ricotta & Gremolata Crostinis (makes 30 crostinis)
For the Ricotta (makes 2 cups)
4 cups whole milk, the fresher the better
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
In a large non-reactive pot bring the milk, cream and salt to a boil. Turn heat off and add the lemon juice or white wine vinegar. The mixture will curdle instantly. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then transfer into a cheese cloth lined sieve. Allow the whey (the liquids) to separate from the curds (the solids). The mixture should rest for about 30 minutes, but the longer you allow the whey to drain, the thicker your cheese. I drained my ricotta for about 45 minutes to get the rich, creamy texture that I wanted. When at your desired consistency spoon into a container and refrigerate. The ricotta should last about 1 week.
For the Gremolata (makes 1 cup)
1/2 cup parsley
zest of 2 lemons
6 cloves garlic
sea salt and pepper
Finely dice the lemon zest, garlic and parsley. Mix all ingredients together and then salt and pepper to taste.
For the Crostini
1 large baguette
3 cloves garlic, halved
Thinly slice the baguette and place the pieces on a baking sheet. Brush each piece with olive oil and bake at 400F for 8 minutes or until just browned. Immediately remove from the oven and while still hot rub the top of each piece of bread with garlic, being careful not to burn your fingers.
Once the bread is cooled smear a layer of ricotta on each piece. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top of the ricotta and then top with a teaspoon or more of the gremolata. Finish off with a pinch of sea salt.