Easy Homemade Lemon Ricotta and Artichoke Pesto Spread

Tammy and I whipped this up on one of our Sunday Fundays and I was surprised at how super easy and fast it was! Not to mention how impressive it is to say that you made homemade ricotta! Even though this is a “cheat meal” it still feels very light, especially when you enjoy the spread on wheat baguette slices. You will love how creamy and bright this tastes. We combined recipes from different sites as 2 layers for the spread and wow it was magic. Thank you to heathercristo.com and framedcooks.com for these amazing recipes!

 -Melanie and Tammy

Health tips: Cheat meal

Lemon Ricotta Ingredients (12 servings)

  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese (The below proportions will make 16 oz. so you’ll have extra for later. You only need half for this 12-serving recipe.)
    • 4 cups whole milk
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • ⅓ cup heavy cream
    • Kosher salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Artichoke Pesto Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 bag/box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Toasted baguette slices with olive oil
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

Steps

  1. Line a fine mesh strainer with several folds of cheesecloth and set it in your sink.
  2. Combine milk, buttermilk and cream in medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil until cooking thermometer registers 185 degrees…if you don’t have a thermometer, keep an eye on it to see when the curds (the solid white parts) are mostly separated from the whey (the cloudy liquid). This will take about 10 minutes…stir a couple of times during the boiling process.
  3. Remove from heat and using a slotted spot, scoop spoonfuls of the curd into the cheesecloth-lined strainer, sprinkling with a little salt every few spoonfuls or so.
  4. Let the ricotta drain for about 5 minutes and then taste to check the consistency. If you like it drier, then let it drain a little more. If you like it moister, stir in a tablespoon or two of milk. (Tip: We let it hang from the kitchen sink faucet.) This ricotta is best used right away, but will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
  5. In the bowl of a food processor combine the garlic and lemon zest. Pulse until it is minced.
  6. Add the artichoke hearts and a generous sprinkle of salt, then pulse a few times, then switch on and drizzle the olive oil in. It should still be chunky and thick. Taste for salt and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl add the ricotta, lemon zest and lemon juice and using a fork whip it all together. Season to taste with kosher salt and a generous amount of black pepper.
  8. Spread a thick serving of the ricotta over a toasted slice of baguette and then top with a generous amount of the artichoke pesto. Garnish with fresh parsley and another crack of fresh black pepper. Enjoy!

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