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Two Fresh Appetizer Recipes Using Ricotta Cheese


 The following two recipes make light, healthy and delicious  appetizers for warm spring and summer brunches, lunches and suppers.

Ricotta cheese naturally has a slight graininess to it. You can leave it as it is for a nice rustic texture or you can place it in a bowl and use an immersion blender or put it in a food processor and blend it briefly to homogenize it and make it very light. This is especially nice for the sweetened version for fruits.

Feel free to play with the recipes, adding different or additional herbs or spices.



Fresh Herbed Ricotta Dip For Vegetables and Crackers



1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut in chiffonade ribbons

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

1 teaspoon dill or thyme (optional)

Zest of 1 lemon plus large splash of lemon juice

12 tablespoons fruity olive oil

3 drops Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Whisk together ricotta and herbs. Blend balance of ingredients with olive oil and stir until well blended.

Arrange trimmed green and yellow beans, baby summer squash slices cut on the bias, baby carrots, English cucumbers cut in thin spears, red bell pepper spears, carrots and celery sticks, snap peas — whatever you wish — on a platter. Serve thin, crisp crackers on a separate plate.

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Vanilla-Ricotta Dip for Fruits and Biscuits



1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

12 tablespoons Rain’s Choice Vanilla Sugar

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

dusting of freshly ground nutmeg


Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle top with freshly ground nutmeg.

Serve with strawberries, slices of fresh apples, peaches, nectarines , plums, cherries and melons. On a separate plate serve lightly sweetened cookies or biscuits.

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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.

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