This recipe is for a quick and simple appetizer that is sure to amaze your dinner guest. The key to this is using fresh lemons and making the ricotta cheese yourself (takes a half hour) so everything is fresh. I like to serve this spread topped with a sun-dried tomato on freshly baked French Baguettes. This recipe can be made the day before your dinner party but really, it’s so easy you should make it the day of. Also, keep in mind two key points, the French bread needs to be started three days in advance and you cannot use ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk to make your cheese. You can find usable milk at a natural grocery store or do what I do and hook up with a dairy farmer who can provide fresh high-fat milk. Also, make sure to retain the whey for other baking, where you can substitute whey for water, say for example in making bread.
- 9 anchovy fillets – in olive oil
- 3 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 TBL fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 tsp fresh rosemary – minced fine
- 0.5 tsp garlic – roasted and minced fine
- 0.25 tsp freshly ground peppercorns
- 1 TBL Italian parsley – chopped fine
- 8 oz. Ricotta cheese – best to make fresh
- 10 strips of Sun-dried tomato
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 Fresh French baguette – sliced diagonally
- Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
- Finish bread at least one hour prior to serving so it is warm-fresh but not hot.
- Start ricotta cheese two hours prior to serving so it has time to drain to dry and crumbly.
- Make the appetizer
- Using a fork, fluff the anchovy fillets and then mash them with the lemon zest.
- Add lemon juice and mix in the fresh herbs and roasted garlic.
- Add the ricotta cheese and whisk with a fork until everything is incorporated.
- Mix in salt a little at a time until you get the taste your after. Keep in mind the anchovies are likely already salty.
- Slice the baguette diagonally ~1/2″ thick and drizzle a bit of olive oil over each slice.
- Toast very lightly in oven at 400 deg F.
- Spread the ricotta mix on top and place a sun-dried tomato on top of that.
- Serve right away.