If you read yesterday’s post about my first and successful attempt at making fresh ricotta, and just how easy it was, you’ll know that I was eager to do something with it.
I mean, who wants to put 2 cups of fresh ricotta made from raw milk in the refrigerator and let it spoil?
I knew it had a short shelf life, so I set about trying to figure out what to do with it. Should I make lasagna, or gnocchi or cannoli with it?
I decided I wanted the ricotta to shine, instead and keep it front and center. However, I evaluated my time, and also the fact that I had a SPLITTING sinus headache and decided to keep it super simple and make baked cheese.
Baked cheese you ask?
In the name of all that’s culinary and sacred, can you just bake cheese? Isn’t that some sort of sinful sacrilege?
Turns out it’s not – just ask my BFF Joy, who introduced me to the concept of baked cheese.
Every Christmas, her family bakes an 8 x 8 square baking dish of Muenster cheese dotted with butter in the oven.
And, they eat it with a spoon.
They don’t eat it over toast or to use it to dip vegetables in. It’s just pure cheese indulgence they learned from their Italian neighbors when she was growing up. She made it for us recently, and our little group of friends were crazy for it.
My version of baking ricotta involved using some fresh spring herbs that have cheerily popped up in my herb garden, and some garlic, and serving it with nicely grilled small toasted bread rounds.
We just mixed up the ricotta, fresh oregano and chives along with the garlic, topped it with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and lightly drizzled it with olive oil. We then popped it in to bake and toasted up some bread.
When it came out piping hot out of the oven, Mr. Wonderful and I both spread some over our crispy toast rounds eagerly and popped them in our mouths in satisfaction.
There’s something about making a dish whose base is homemade and fresh like my fresh ricotta that makes things so incredibly satisfying.
Love cheese like I do? Just look at these other fabulous recipes using cheese that other fantastic bloggers are using for Food Networks Sensational Sides recipes!
Weelicious: Mexican Rice Balls
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Cheesy Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes
Feed Me Phoebe: Sausage, Pepper and Onion Frittata
Cooking With Elise: Parmesan Noodle Bake
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Grilled Cheese with Spicy Pickles, Pepper Jack and Garlic Aioli
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cheese and Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas
Red or Green: Cheddar Cheese and Red Chile Potato Soup
Virtually Homemade: Grilled Asparagus with Tomato Salad and Goat Cheese
Domesticate Me: Parmesan Quinoa Risotto with Roasted Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The Sensitive Epicure: Easy Cheesy Puffs (Gluten-Free)
Dishin & Dishes: Baked Herbed Ricotta Spread
Taste With The Eyes: Shrimp, Haricots Verts and Garbanzo Beans with Feta
FN Dish: Cheesy Brunch Sides