This Roasted Garlic Baked Ricotta post is sponsored by Wines of Garnacha/Grenache.
Simple, yes. Mediocre? Never! This hot, cheesy and garlicky dip is all you’d want in an appetizer. Make it this holiday season, serve with some good wine and get ready to be called The Entertaining Queen/King.
Guess what day is today? MY BIRTHDAAAAY! ???
And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this day than by talking all things garlic and cheese here on the blog.
Okay, maybe not ALL things, as that would take all my birthdays in this lifetime plus some more, but at least one very special thing: this Roasted Garlic Baked Ricotta, pictured above (and below…and all over this post! ?).
One of the easiest yet yummiest appetizers ever!
Life as a new mom is hard enough with the whole “keeping the baby alive” aspect of it. Add to it all the visits and you’re sure to be begging to be admitted to a mad house in a matter of days!
I mean, you *could* let people come over to a filthy house, offer them a glass of water and then hand them the baby so you can lock yourself in your bedroom for a much needed nap.
The reality? You have to host! So you find out someone wants to come meet the baby and you proceed to vacuum, mop, hide all the dirty laundry that is everywhere, cook and – maybe, if there’s time – take a shower so you look presentable.
Even if people are not coming over for a meal, I feel obligated to serve them an appetizer or some snacks. Nothing too complicated, as I’m not trying to look like a Brazilian Martha Stewart, just a little something to make people feel welcome and not leave feeling like I would much prefer to have stayed in my pajamas. ???
This week, while browsing through some easy appetizer ideas, I stumbled upon Leite’s Culinaria Baked Ricotta recipe and knew I had to try it.
Only a handful of ingredients and about 30 minutes of prep + cook? Yep! Sounds like it fits my new “mom who needs to get her sh*t together” lifestyle.
I adapted the recipe slightly and added one of my favorite ingredients: roasted garlic.
Adding the roasted garlic does add a bit more time to the recipe, about 1 hour for the garlic to roast. But it’s all worth it, I promise, because: 1) roasted garlic is life and 2) nothing is as inviting as a home that smells like garlic roasting in the oven.
After the garlic is roasted, all you gotta do is whip everything together and bake it.
So the Roasted Garlic Baked Ricotta is finally in the oven. The stuff cheesy garlicky dreams are made of! The house smells amazing and you can’t wait to dig in with some crostini or bread.
But there’s one thing missing…
Can’t serve this masterpiece without some good wine, y’all.
And there’s no need to break the bank, when you can get an European quality wine like Garnacha (also known as Grenache) for $10-$20. Better yet if you ask your incoming guests to grab you some Garnacha wine on their way over! ?
Just kidding… My perfect hostess self would never do that, so I make sure I’m always stocked up.
If you’ve been following my culinary journey, you’ll remember that Garnacha wines have made an appearance here before. And that’s because I’m a big fan of them!
Not only they are affordable, but Garnacha/Grenache grape comes in all styles, so they are easy to pair with anything. Their wide range of styles and aromas mean there is a wine for any occasion or seasonal celebration.
With the amount of wine I’ve been serving for baby visitors, I’m positive I’ll have to send Tim for a Garnacha trip way before the holiday season starts.
And I mean the wine store, not the Garnacha region. ? Although I’m sure he’d love that!
They produce reds, whites, rosé, sparkling and sweet. The sky is the limit for all the yummy things you can pair with Garnacha/Grenache.
I paired my Roasted Garlic Baked Ricotta with a Red Varietal, as I tend to prefer red wine when eating hot cheesy appetizers, but I can totally see this dip being served with a crisp white wine, rosé, fortified and even sparkling.
Whatever wine you choose, I guarantee this will be a hit!
Either to entertain unsolicited baby guests or to treat friends and family this holiday season, you can rest assured this ricotta dip will get the job done with very little effort on your part.
- 2 heads garlic
- 16 ounces good quality Ricotta (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Olive oil to drizzle and brush
- Heat oven to 400F degrees.
- Cut ¼ to ½ inch from the top of the garlic heads, exposing the cloves. Transfer the heads to a baking pan, cut side up, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Wrap the heads with aluminum foil and roast for about 1 hour or until the cloves are soft and fragrant, almost caramelized on top.
- Remove from the oven - leave the oven on! - and allow them to cool enough to handle. Then, using your fingers (or a fork), squeeze the garlic out into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the roasted garlic cloves until smooth and resembling a paste.
- Transfer this garlic paste to a big bowl and add the ricotta, ⅔ of the parmesan, the egg, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix well, with a spoon or whisk, until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a 2-cup baking dish brushed with olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan and bake until golden and puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately with crostini or crusty bread. You can garnish with some thyme sprigs or serve as is!