“Baked cheese is delicious all on its own, served with flatbreads, crackers or charred toast. Ripe, fresh fruits are also delicious with baked ricotta. At holidays, top this stunner of a snack with roasted grapes, roasted cherry tomatoes or roasted pitted cherries. I roast all three of these fruits as toppers with thinly sliced shallots and a fat drizzle of good-quality balsamic vinegar.”
- Butter, for greasing the baking dish
- 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese, homemade or store-bought, drained
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian pistachios, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 large free-range organic egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from an organic lemon)
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a large ramekin or small soufflé dish. Line the sides with doubled parchment paper to give the dish a 2- to 3-inch collar.
In a bowl, stir the ricotta, Parm, pistachios, egg, thyme, lemon zest, salt, pepper and a few grates of nutmeg. Scrape into the ramekin, set it on a baking sheet, and bake until just set, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes or so.
Remove the parchment paper collar and turn out the baked ricotta onto a serving dish.