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.
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.
**This post is a part of my ongoing collaboration with Sargento Cheese. All opinions are 100% my own.**