Whipped Ricotta Dip with Crudités
It will take all of your strength not to eat this silky ricotta dip with a spoon alone. Ricotta, on its own, already has an amazing texture, but why not indulge and pulse in a little fresh cream, bright lemon zest, and the verdant flavor of basil leaves? Simple ingredients and such a quick elegant compliment for a dinner party, use your favorite raw, fresh vegetables for dipping, along with some rustic, crusty bread and a sturdy seeded cracker for the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent. Serves 6
8 oz. ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk + local
1/3 cup half and half, organic if possible
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
6 basil leaves, chiffonade
1 large cucumber or 5 mini cucumbers, sliced into sticks
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced lengthwise
1 bunch radishes, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced in half
4 rustic dinner rolls, or half of a sourdough loaf, torn into bite size pieces
4 oz seeded crackers, for dipping
1 Tbsp olive oil
In a small mixing bowl using an immersion blender or hand blender, slowly pulse together the ricotta and the half and half, pureeing into a smooth mixture and slightly thickened, for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, then taste for seasoning. Add the basil leaves, mixing thoroughly, then set in the fridge until ready to serve.
On a serving platter or wooden tray, combine the mixture of veggies, along with the torn bread pieces, toasted in the oven with olive oil if you like a more crunchy texture, and the seeded crackers.
Transfer the ricotta dip to a small serving bowl, garnish with the olive oil drizzled on top, and more freshly cracked black pepper. Serve and enjoy!