I have a new infatuation. It’s called brown butter ricotta, and I want to slather it on everything. Except yesterday, I skipped the slathering and just went straight to eating it out of a bowl with a spoon. Who knew that pairing homemade ricotta with a few tablespoons of brown butter would yield such ridiculous results?? Although, I should have guessed because when has there ever been a time when brown butter didn’t make something exponentially better??
Why is it that the simplest things are almost always the best things – especially when it comes to food? Of course, I relish in my five-course-tiny-portion-frou-frou food that comes from the highest-rated restaurants, but most times, simplicity is where my heart lies, and my heart definitely lies in this brown butter ricotta.
As aforementioned, I could definitely slather this stuff on just about anything, however, today’s choice of canvas is in the form of pizza. A simple, light, and quintessential summer pizza. One in which my meat-loving husband scoffs at, but one which I adore.
Teddy and I made our first run to the farmer’s market a few days ago, and while I was definitely tempted by all the juicy looking peaches, giant squash, and colorful cherry tomatoes, I settled on a two dollar bunch of zucchini blossoms and the most delicate microgreens I’ve ever seen in person.
After a quick jaunt to two different pizza places for fresh dough – because the first place decided they weren’t selling dough at the moment, due to the enormous influx of children running around the joint –the pizza making began.
I’m going to reiterate this again, this pizza is simple, which I guess is what you want in a pizza, because no one wants to spend hours or too many dollars making homemade pizza. However, did I mention that the ricotta is homemade? The from-scratch factor takes the easy part down just a touch, but it’s still something you can throw together in under an hour.
These days, I never buy ricotta, I find that the store-bought stuff is more times than not, geared towards sweet desserts, so it always has this underlying sugary taste that turns me off when using it in savory form. Instead, I just pick up a container of half and half, a half gallon of milk, and make it myself with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. I’ve gone the process a few times here, but rest assured, it’s one of the most fool-proof foods to make I’ve ever encountered.
Once the ricotta is whipped up with a few tablespoons of brown butter and some salt, it gets slathered on a store-bought pizza crust (more points for you if you make your own), sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese, and is then covered in zucchini blossoms.
It gets popped into a 550-degree oven, until the crust is crispy and brown, and when it comes out, it’s covered with even more parmesan, drizzled with a little bit of olive oil, and sprinkled with microgreens.
For a complete summer meal, serve it with sliced farmer’s market tomatoes, a little bit of basil, and some chilled rosé.
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 pint half and half
- 2 Tlbs. apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tlbs. unsalted butter
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ball of dough (I used one for a 12-inch pizza, but you could also use one for a 14-inch pizza)
- 12-15 zucchini blossoms
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup kale and broccoli micro greens (optional)
- Preheat oven to 550 degrees. Put a pizza stone in the oven and let heat for at least 15 minutes.
- Line a sieve or fine colander with paper towels.
- Add milk and half and half to a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Stir until the curds are completely separated (the mixture will look curdled).
- Pour the mixture into the paper towel-lined sieve. Let drain while you make the brown butter.
- In a small skillet, add the butter. Turn the heat on medium-high and once the butter has started to melt and brown on the edges, swirl the pan. Continue to swirl the pan until the butter is a deep golden brown and smells very nutty. Pour in a small bowl to cool.
- Stretch your pizza dough into a circle on a flour covered pizza wheel. Make sure you continue to move your dough so it doesn't stick to the wheel. Add more flour if necessary. Leave dough on wheel.
- Once the butter has cooled and ricotta has drained, transfer ricotta to the bottom of a food processor. Pulse until cheese is whipped. Add salt and brown butter. Pulse until combined.
- Spread ricotta on pizza crust. Use the handle of the wheel to make sure the dough still isn't sticking and can slide around. Sprinkle ricotta with parmesan, and place zucchini blossoms on top.
- Slide pizza on to pizza stone. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and crispy.
- Remove pizza from oven and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with more parmesan if desired. Sprinkle with microgreens.