Can we talk about the Madness? Uconn upsetting Michigan State? Kentucky’s last-second 3-pointer for the win? The Wisconsin-Arizona overtime nail biter?
I sound like I know what I’m talking about, right? I don’t. But thanks to theSkimm, I am up-to-date on all the most important goings-on in the world. (Really, you should subscribe, it might change your life.)
You also should make this baked ricotta for any guests you might find at your house watching the Final Four this weekend. As is the case with so many baked cheese dips, the success of this one can be attributed to the synergistic reaction that takes place in the oven, the final melty product amounting to so much more than the sum of its herbs, spices, and cheeses. In other words: cheese is good, melted cheese is better. At least when placed before a crew of ravenous, raucous, raging sports fans.
Here, lots of fresh lemon zest, so often a good complement to ricotta, adds brightness while garlic and crushed red pepper flakes add zing. It’s a snap to throw together — can be mixed up the night before, in fact — and bakes into a thyme-flecked, bubbling mass with hot oil sputtering at the surface. Pick up a loaf of good bread and call your menu planning done. Warning: your guests might never leave.
In honor of the Final Four, Wisconsin Cheese will send one of you a Triple Play Dip Server and a selection of artisan Wisconsin Cheeses. Leave a comment below. Share your favorite party dip for a chance to win. UPDATE: Giveaway is closed. Winner is Lisa Brown.
Baked Ricotta with Lemon & Thyme
Yield 8 servings as an appetizer
- 16 oz. Wisconsin Ricotta
- 3 cloves garlic sliced or minced
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- zest of 1 lemon
- freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly grated Wisconsin Parmesan
- red pepper flakes to taste
- fresh bread for serving
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Spoon into 1 large (about the size of a 9-inch oven-safe skillet) or several small gratin dishes. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbling and just slightly golden.
- Let cool briefly. Serve with fresh bread.