So once you have your homemade ricotta, the next question is: what to do with it?
Me, I decided to be ultra-spontaneous. Well mostly spontaneous. On Saturday, I bought a nice loaf of bread, made the ricotta, left it overnight in the refrigerator to drain. Then, on Sunday, with dinner guests coming at 5:30, I opened up my CSA box in the morning to see what was in there. Whatever I found, I’d make up some kind of bruschetta. Lo and behold, I found…
…yellow peppers and green garlic.
Here’s why I did: I cranked the oven up to 500, put the yellow peppers on a cookie sheet and coated them in olive oil and sprinkled them with salt.
Then I put them in that scorching hot oven and waited. There were some loud hisses, a few pops; smoke began billowing out at one point because I think the juice from a yellow pepper hit the bottom of the oven somewhere. But it was worth it because look how nice and charred they got in there:
There are other ways to do this: in the broiler, for one. Or on an open flame, if you like a little danger in your cooking.
You want to take them pretty far, though. The blacker the skin, the better. You’ll know they’re done when the peppers are limp when you squeeze them with tongs. At that point, I put them into a brown paper bag which I quickly folded shut so they could steam for a bit.
Then, on to a cutting board.
Use a knife to scrape off the skin (you can also use paper towels; it should slip right off). Then cut open the top, scape off the seeds, and slice or tear the pepper into strips. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, add some sliced garlic–I used the green garlic from the CSA–and a generous pour of olive oil. Oh and some capers too. When you’re done with your peppers, submerge them in the mixture.
If you’re using them in the next hour or so, just cover with plastic and set aside. If you’re making them ahead, you can refrigerate for several days.
As for the rest of the bruschetta, it’s easy. Slice a nice sourdough loaf thickly (don’t use pre-sliced bread; those slices are too thin) and then broil until charred on both sides.
Have your friend Patty (yes, it’s Patty! she’s visiting) pour some fancy McEvoy Ranch olive oil on to the charred bread:
Then mound on some homemade ricotta (be generous) and some of the roasted peppers, spooning the garlicky oil on top.
How’s that for a stunning appetizer? Make some homemade ricotta and whip something up like this in no time. Everyone will be very happy, I promise.