Monday, April 8, 2013

Ricotta Dip

Blog's Category: USSR-era Recipes, My Staple Food, Hors D'oeuvre, My Own Fast and Easy

Ricotta Dip



This ricotta dip is made of homemade ricotta and I hope the word "homemade" won't scare you much because making ricotta the way I do (see below) is so easy, fast and simple - you'll be surprised (of course, if you are not already ricotta maker "pro").

Yesterday, when I got tired of moving gallon of milk around fridge trying to get to the stuff in a depths of a fridge, and also noticing that half-a-gallon of buttermilk is not used up as I thought it will be used when I bought it about 2-3 weeks ago.. well.. at this moment I decided that making express-version of ricotta is the right thing to do.

The well-known to me from my Ukrainian life, recipe of ricotta (we called it there "tvorog") with fresh dill and garlic has come to my mind. It took me about 30 minutes, if not less, to make a whole  thing and here it is: homemade ricotta dip with dill and garlic.

Also I had some leftovers of fresh mint I intended to use for a new Georgean recipe for Mint Cheese Roulette (that's when I failed miserably trying substitute unsubstitutable...I'll tell you later.. in another post). Anyway, having some fresh mint on hand I have made also Mint Ricotta spread.

So here it is, two recipes - Garlic and Dill Ricotta Dip which is traditional to Ukrainian cuisine, and Minty Ricotta which is very pleasant, new (for me) combination of ricotta and mint.

Taste Description
Garlic and Dill Ricotta Dip - very smooth with a buttery texture, despite looking chunky, dip. Soft texture explodes here with a bright garlic taste and flavor. Dill flavor is a great companion to a garlic. If you are not big fan of a dill, you may become one now ;)

Mint Ricotta has a simplest, softest, very pleasant "one-note" taste. In a sample quantity, I was playing around trying to add garlic to it but figured out that it doesn't need it. Mint is on its own here, it doesn't need any[body] to hold the flavor in this spread. Without any addition of mayonnaise, yogurt or sour cream, this mix has soft, slightly spongy, in a good way, texture with a light and refreshing minty taste and aroma.
How to Serve
Serve it on crackers, or, as a dip along with chips or toasted breadsticks. It can be spread on a slice of bread as a component to a roasted vegetable sandwich or as a cheese replacement in your hamburger sandwich. We serve it often in a bowl, family style, as a side appetizer to our entree.

Garlic and Dill Ricotta

  • 1/2 up to 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1/2 gallon buttermilk
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • 3 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tsp plain yougurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • salt to taste (this dip likes to be slightly on a salty side:))

- Make ricotta by heating milk in a large pot almost to a boiling point. Then add buttermilk, stirring - it will start making curds almost right away after you add buttermilk. Stir for two more minutes and take off the heat. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes, stirring couple times during this time. Do not stir the last 5 minutes to get all curds to the top.

- Place strainer in a sink and cover it with a cheese cloth or couple of paper towels if you do not have dedicated cheese cloth (just yet). With a large spoon, transfer curds from a top layer into the strainer and then carefully pour the remaining whey and curds over into the strainer. Let strainer with curds to seat for about 30 to 60 minutes. Then transfer your ricotta from a strainer to a bowl - it's ready!

- To make garlic and dill dip - add garlic, dill, yogurt, mayo and salt to a ricotta. Mix it up - your dip is done, enjoy!

Mint Ricotta (Dip or Spread)
  • 3 cups ricotta
  • 1 cup fresh mint (chopped)
  • 1/3 tsp course sea salt (ideally, fleur de sel)

- In a mortar, place your chopped mint and salt and bang couple times by a pestle to smash mint into a juicy "mess".

- Mix your smashed mint into a ricotta, generously spread onto your favorite cracker and enjoy with a strong sweet coffee for a light breakfast!



Fresh ricotta is soft and tender. To get it to a dip consistency I add mayonnaise and yogurt. Mayonnaise will add a little "zing" to it also. Garlic and dill bring a lo-o-ot of flavor to a dip.

Freshly made ricotta does not require any kind of "softeners" such as sour cream , yogurt or mayonnaise. Just add salt and mint and your minty ricotta spread is done!


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