We are leaving for Italy in two weeks, so we had a family barbecue this past weekend at our house to spend time with family before we go. My husband’s family are Italian, and we all love to eat, so I always try to prepare a great spread when I entertain them. We started off with a special Aperol Spritz, and a good selection of antipasti dishes then followed with a variety of grilled meat and salads. I
only had time to take a few photographs of our evening, but I did take some photos of the appetizers set up on the table with this ricotta spread front and center. I posted pictures of my antipasti table on facebook and had dozens of folks message me asking me for this specific recipe.
This spread is delicious served on its own, or topped with roasted pepper strips, sun-dried tomatoes, or slow-roasted cherry tomatoes as I show in the photos. What I like best about this recipe apart from how delicious it is, is that it is so easy to prepare and can be made the day before you plan to serve it.
I love any dish that I can prepare ahead of time when I am entertaining, so I have more time to enjoy my guests. For best results, choose a good quality whole milk ricotta cheese with no preservatives, ripe cherry tomatoes, and a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
The ricotta is whipped with a little heavy cream, olive oil, lemon zest, and spices. Served with sweet roasted tomatoes, and grilled baguette slices to spread the ricotta and spoon the tomatoes on and you have an easy appetizer everyone will enjoy. Do serve the ricotta spread and tomatoes at room temperatures for the best flavor.
My Antipasti Table With Whipped Ricotta Cheese Topped With Slow Roasted Tomatoes
- 4 Cups Ripe Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Smashed
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- Salt & Pepper
Whipped Ricotta Cheese:
- 1 (15 Ounce) Container Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Zest From 1 Lemon
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- Salt & Pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh Baby Basil Leaves
- Coarse Black Pepper & Sea Salt
- 2 Small Baguettes, Sliced Into 1/3-inch Slices and Lightly Browned
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place the tomatoes on the prepared pan.
- Add the garlic, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with the olive oil, then roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the tomatoes soften.
- Allow the tomatoes too cool to room temperature.
- Place the ricotta ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until blended and smooth.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Spoon the ricotta spread into a shallow bowl, then spoon the tomatoes and juice from the pan into the center.
- Drizzle the ricotta with olive oil, then the pepper and salt.
- Garnish the tomatoes with baby basil leaves and serve with grilled baguette slices.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 766mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g