Every chef loves playing with complex flavors and textures, but this dish is a great reminder that straightforward, delicious food always makes people happy. We whip the ricotta with a splash of milk to give it a fluffy texture, and mix it up with cracked black pepper, sea salt, Sicilian oregano and olive oil. We pair it with grilled chunky bread rubbed with garlic and serve it as an appetizer, though the waiters always have a hard time getting it off the table: people keep eating it all the way through dinner.
About 10 minutes plus a little more if you’re a serving with Grilled Country Bread
2 cups Sardinian sheep’s milk ricotta
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Calabrian oregano
1 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon course-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a Kitchenaid with a paddle or in a medium bowl with a whisk, beat ricotta and milk together until light and fluffy. Add the salt and mix well. Place the mixture in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the fleur de sel, black pepper, thyme and oregano generously across the top.
Top with the olive oil, which will settle on and around the cheese. I like to add a fair bit of oil, so that the cheese emerges from it like an island in a sea; it’s a perfect match, the nuttiness of the olive oil and the richness of the cheese. Serve this with a board full of grilled country bread. I guarantee you won’t be able to stop eating it.