Like anyone else, I’m self aware enough to realize that I have a few significant character flaws. To name a few, I’m stubborn, riddled with anxiety 80% of the time, and am a procrastinator to a tee.
When it comes to running a business and blog, procrastination is probably one of the top characteristics you wouldn’t want as a prominent trait, but I am who I am, and as much as I try to plan ahead, I’m typically scheduling things at the last minute, and thriving under the pressure.
Typically things work out, and everything gets done, but every once in a while, there are events that happen which are out of my control. Take today for instance. On Friday, I thought to myself, you should write your blog post for Monday so you don’t have to worry about it on Sunday night. Now, a non-procrastinator would have listened to the little voice inside her head and knocked out that post, however the procrastinator in me noted that it was a beautiful 68-degree day, and I should take the baby for a walk and to the park – and fun times with the baby always win.
No big deal, I thought, I’ll just have to carve out some time to get it done over the weekend, Saturday came and went. Sunday day came and went. Again, no big deal, I’ll just get it done when the baby goes to sleep. Well, as babies tend to have a mind of their own, Teddy decided that this would be the night he wouldn’t sleep from the time he went down until the time he woke up in the morning. I spent the better part of the night, rocking the poor guy while simultaneously rubbing his belly, because the chicken enchilada soup we had for dinner didn’t sit well with him.
So, my blog post didn’t get out at 7am this morning, but you know what? That’s ok, because I got to play with him all day Friday and really soak in the brief respite in winter we had. I also got to enjoy every moment of the weekend. And I also got to sleep with my baby, which is a rarity. So yeah, I think, in this isolated case, procrastination paid off.
The only downside to my procrastination this time, is I didn’t get to share this Homemade Pesto Whipped Ricotta with you Burst Cherry Tomatoes sooner. I made this last week, and since there’s only two of us in this household, I’ve been slowly digging my way through it two, sometimes, three times a day – it’s so good.
If you haven’t made your own ricotta yet, please, don’t wait any longer. It’s the one item I refuse to buy store-bought, because nothing on the shelves of any grocery store can rival the creamy, luxurious texture and taste of the real deal – plus it’s ridiculously easy to make.
The process is simple. Pour whole milk, heavy cream, and salt in to a large heavy-bottomed pot (I like this Staub one), bring the mixture to a slow boil, reduce to a simmer, and pour in lemon juice. From there, you stir with a wooden spoon, and watch the curds magically separate from the whey. After a couple of minute you dump the whole mixture into a sieve or fine colander lined with paper towel, and let it drain.
You could just eat it as is, but for me, it’s essential to transfer it to a food processor to whip up. It’s what creates that silky-smooth texture that makes homemade ricotta irresistible.
Now, I could literally slather this stuff on anything, but I was gifted an enormous amount of pesto from Giovanni Rana, so I thought it would be fun to create a terrine of sorts.
First, a layer of ricotta goes down in a bowl, next a generous amount of pesto is smoothed over, then another layer of ricotta, a layer of pesto, and then a final layer of burst cherry tomatoes.
I drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top and then serve it with toasted baguette slices or sturdy crackers. The recipe makes a good amount of dip, so be sure to share with a crowd!
- ½ gallon whole milk
- ½ pint heavy creamy
- 2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ½ cup store-bought pesto
- Preheat oven to broil. Place a sieve or fine colander in the sink. Line with cheesecloth or paper towels.
- Add whole milk, heavy cream and salt to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until the curds separate, about 2 minutes. Pour into sieve or strainer. Let drain for 15 minutes.
- While the ricotta is draining, add cherry tomatoes to a medium bowl. Add olive oil and salt. Toss until coated evenly. Transfer to a small baking sheet. Place under the broiler until they're starting to burst, about 3-5 minutes, watch carefully!
- Once the ricotta has drained, transfer to the food processor, turn the mixer on and blend until whipped and smooth, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt.
- Add half of the the ricotta to a shallow, bowl. Spread with half of the pesto. Cover with remaining ricotta. Spread the rest of the pesto on top and then cover with tomatoes.
- Serve with toasted baguette pieces.