Baked ricotta with lemon, grapes and olives

Those in the blogging world may recognise this recipe.  It was first posted, a couple of years ago, by Nancy at PlusAteSix.  After Nancy’s post, I made it a couple of times in quick succession and then I moved on.  Yesterday, because we were having a few friends over for drinks, I decided to make it again.

I remembered it being a great recipe, I remembered it was Nancy’s recipe and I remembered I had made a note in one of my posts about how good it was, but that was all.  I went searching.  I found the note and a link to the recipe but, alas, the link didn’t work.

Damn it!  So I searched for the recipe on-line and the only hits I got were from Pinterest.  Quite a few people had pinned Nancy’s recipe.  This gave me the list of ingredients but when I clicked on the link on how to make it, it didn’t work.  Clearly, Nancy has killed her blog.

I turned my mind back to her post.  I remember her saying how simple it was.  I remember making a comment on her post how I had made it and it was fabulous.  I think Nancy suggested adding a drizzle of honey and I vaguely remember a suggestion that nuts would be a good addition.

As I remember it being described as “simple”, I guessed it was a matter of combining the ingredients and baking it.  Anyway, that is what I did and it was yummy.  I decided to write this post because I know I will want to make this again and next time I would love to know what to do from the outset.  If anyone does remember Nancy’s post and remembers there being more to this that my method requires, I would love to hear from you.

Ingredients:
  • 400g drained ricotta*
  • 1 red chilli
  • 150g grapes, seedless green (I was a bit generous with the grapes)
  • lemon zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • 50g pitted olives
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbs olive oil (I gave it a good drizzle)
  • parsley and/or mint leaves

The additions I made:

  • 2 tbs hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • a drizzle of honey

* I reckon the best ricotta for this recipe that is readily available is La Casa Del Formaggio traditional ricotta.  You can get it in Woolworths and Coles.  It comes in a 1 kg green basket and it is sold near the deli section.  I am sure there are other brands out there but, for general availability, this one is the go (Maus noted that that is a rather ridiculous statement since we travelled 40 kilometres to Manjimup to buy it!).  If you have no use for 1 kg of ricotta or can’t find it, buy 500g of ricotta in a tub, line a colander with some light cloth and drain it over a bowl in the fridge overnight.

Method:

Now remember, I have no idea what you are supposed to do but this is what I did and it worked.

Prepare the ricotta:

  1. Choose a dish that is ovenproof and looks good. Set it aside.
  2. Choose a bowl the right size to take the ricotta, line it with plastic wrap.
  3. Push the ricotta firmly into the bowl.
  4. Turn the bowl upside down into your chosen baking dish.
  5. Lift the bowl and plastic wrap up leaving the ricotta.  Set aside in the fridge until needed.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients:

  1. Slice the grapes and chilli, zest a lemon and roughly chop the olives.
  2. Combine all the ingredients (except the parsley and the honey) in a bowl then set aside until you are ready to bake.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
  4. Tip the mixture over the ricotta.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  6. If desired, drizzle honey over the ricotta.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped parsley/mint.

This really went down well, accompanied by far too many wines.

 

Sanbuseh – Savoury turnovers

 

Ok … Summer is here and the festive season is upon us and that means outdoor activities.  We will have gatherings to host and requests to ‘just bring a plate’.  Finger food is the go.

Instead of making meat pies, sausage rolls and mini quiches, how about making some Sanbuseh?  They are just as easy to make but taste and look just that little bit different.  I have already served them twice this season and they have been a hit both times.  Best of all, they are dead easy to make.  They use commercial puff pastry and the filling ingredients are all in together.  They can be served straight from the oven or at room temperature.  How easy is that? Continue reading

Yoghurt, cucumber and rose petal dip

When I was in Iran, I really wanted to buy a cookbook.  I can think of no better souvenir from a country than a nice thick tome on their fare.  But alas, the only English written cookbook I found was the Australian Women’s Weekly More Slow Cooking.  I am afraid that wasn’t what I had in mind.

Continue reading

Aunty Margaret’s cheese biscuits

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Aunty Margaret was always my favourite Aunty and I was lead to believe I was pretty special to her.  When I was little, my mum told me the story (I don’t know whether it is true or not) that, when I was born, Aunty Margaret told her,  “You have enough daughters, this one is for me.”  Aunty Margaret always wanted a daughter but had two sons.

I named my first doll Margaret and, many years later named one of my darling Bichons, “Maggie”, both after this wonderful woman. Continue reading

Make hummus not war

015copyRecently, I watched a great show on tele entitled Make Hummus Not War.  It was about how Lebanon is suing Israel for claiming hummus is an Israeli national dish.  Lebanon claims that right, as does Palestine and, I am guessing, every other country in the region.  I knew about Lebanon’s obsession with hummus but not Israel’s Continue reading

Sun-dried tomato tapenade and a wee trip to Syd-er-ney

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I get so excited when I find recipes and I have grown all, or most, of the ingredients.  Today’s recipe fits into that category. The only ingredient that didn’t come out of my garden was the anchovy fillets.

As my dear vegetarian friend, Colette, was coming to dinner that night, I divided the tapenade into two bowls and only put anchovies in one.  I think the anchovies gave the tapenade more depth of flavour but, if you are vegetarian or object to anchovies, it still tastes lovely without them.  If you are omitting the anchovies, taste the tapenade before serving as you may wish to add a little salt. Continue reading

Meat and coconut patties

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As it is the last day of the month, this is my last chance to feature recipes from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook, this month’s feature cookbook on The Cook Book Guru

Last week, I was flicking through Charmaine’s book looking for recipes to try.  There are so many, it was very difficult to narrow down the choice.  Now, as I have mentioned before on this blog, we have demarcation lines in the kitchen:  Maus makes all things that need to be shaped into even-sized items.  I don’t know how this happened but I am guessing one day she got so frustrated with my odd and uneven shaped patties, she decided it was time to take control. Continue reading