I have been spending a lot of time lately leafing through Seasons by Donna Hay. It is my favorite cookbook right now, the recipes are simple and the photos beyond gorgeous. I found a recipe for ricotta with toasted brioche with vanilla honey and thought that it would be perfect for my Sargento Flavor Journey. I knew that the addition of fresh thyme and rosemary would be perfect with the honey, and I was right. I have always loved ricotta in savory things like lasagna, but am just starting to appreciate it in sweet things, and even on its own. It is creamy, has a delicate taste, and a great vehicle for other flavors. This might be a humble looking appetizer (or dessert, brunch item, you really could eat this any time, for any meal) but I guarantee that you will make it time and time again. It is incredibly easy, and so flavorful.
I bought a loaf of brioche at Whole Foods. Brioche is a very rich bread made with loads of butter and eggs. It reminds me of challah, but even more decadent. If you cannot find brioche, you could make a loaf, (which sort of defeats the idea of easy appetizer, but you could if you wanted to) or just use a really crusty baguette. The bread needs to be really good. When the ingredients are this simple, each one really needs to be high quality and delicious.
- 1 cup Sargento Whole Milk Ricotta
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 vanilla bean
- fresh thyme
- fresh rosemary
- brioche (or other delicious bread)
- You could easily just put some ricotta in a beautiful bowl, but I wanted to see if I could shape the ricotta into a ball. Wrap the ricotta in a piece of cheesecloth. Wrap the cheesecloth around the ricotta and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Slice the vanilla bean in half. Use the back of your knife to scrape the seeds out. Add the vanilla bean, honey, and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes, it will get thick and syrupy. Let the syrup cool and strain out the vanilla bean. Chop rosemary and thyme.
- Sprinkle herbs over ricotta. Drizzle honey over ricotta.Toast some brioche, and spread the cheese over the bread.