Homemade Herbed Ricotta

Celina Tio, chef-owner of Julian and Collection, shares her recipe for easy ricotta.

We don’t need a special occasion to eat cheese in all its delicious forms, shapes and textures. But perhaps National Cheese Day is the perfect occasion to try our hand at making cheese. Local restaurateur Celina Tio was kind enough to give us her fabulously simple recipe for herbed ricotta. She recommends adorning garganelli pasta with puréed Italian tomatoes, sausage with shallots and garlic and a healthy dollop of this fresh soft ricotta. Top with grated Manchego for an extra cheesy kick.

Herbed Ricotta

1 quart whole milk

1/2 ounce white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon

1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme

Over a double boiler, heat the milk to 206°F. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. The milk will coagulate quickly. Drain the curd in a cheesecloth-lined large-holed strainer. Drain for only a minute or two. Cheese should still be loose, but with no curds seeping from the edges. Mix in the herbs, butter and baking soda, then season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Makes about 125 grams.