• Asher Cusack

Whipped Ricotta Tomato Toast & How to Make Vegan Ricotta

My new favourite breakfast and a super easy homemade plant based cheese that you can make in the microwave.

THE STORY

For my birthday my wonderful Mam got me a copy of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's The Food Lab. Although I don't eat meat, dairy, or eggs, I tend to find vegan cookbooks to be more marketed at beginners or people coming at food from a health angle. When I get a cookbook, I want something that will teach me about a new technique, new cuisine, or inspire me in some way. Kenji's attention to detail and formulaic approach does just that. In the book, he describes how to make ricotta at home, describing how dry, crumbly and unsatisfying shop bought ricotta is.

It occurred to me that I've never had good dairy free ricotta either. Nut based ones are fine, but tend to taste of almond or cashew, or have weird spice additions, like garlic or onion powder, that take away from their versatility and just try to mask the natural flavours. I decided I wanted to play around with the traditional ricotta technique, but with soy. I was pleasantly surprised that with only a few adaptations I was able to get a perfect result. Somewhere between creamy and crumbly, with a little lactic tang and rich texture. I've tried this whipped and unwhipped on toast, as a filling with chopped chard for tortellini and later this week I'm thinking of trying it out with pancakes.

I'd highly recommend giving it a go. It's extremely easy, requiring only a bowl, a microwave, cheesecloth and a colander, along with only 3 ingredients. You can of course also make this recipe using your favourite dairy or non dairy ricotta, if you don't have time to strain your own. The toppings and cheese have a wonderful mix of sweet and savoury, as well as so many lovely textures. This is going to be on regular rotation as a summer breakfast, especially when our tomato plants start cropping.

THE RECIPES

Soy Milk Ricotta vegan. gluten free.

prep time 10 minutes + straining time

servings 2-3 cups

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl

  2. Microwave for 5-10 minutes, enough that the edges are bubbling

  3. Let the mix stand for 10 minutes.

  4. Line a colander with cheesecloth and tip in the mixture.

  5. Let the cheese drain for 20-60 minutes depending on you desired texture. Bear in mind that it will firm up a bit in the fridge.

  6. Tip into a lidded container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Whipped Ricotta Tomato Toast vegan.

prep time 20 minutes

servings 2

INGREDIENTS

For the tomato topping:

  • 1 large tomato, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ tablespoon sherry vinegar (could use red wine vinegar)

  • a small handful of fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

  • a few buds of thyme, leaves and/or flowers, chopped

  • 1 small or ½ a large garlic clove, grated very finely

  • salt

  • pepper

For the drizzle:

  • 1½ tablespoons golden syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

  • a few buds of fresh thyme, leaves and/or flowers, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • salt

For assembly:

  • ½ cup ricotta

  • 2-4 slices of toast

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix together all of the tomato topping ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes. These can be prepared and kept in the fridge for a day or two.

  2. Meanwhile, warm the syrup in the microwave until very warm but not boiling.

  3. Stir the rest of the drizzle ingredients into the syrup.

  4. Using an electric mixer or food processor, whip the ricotta until light and smooth.

  5. Assemble your toasts by thickly smearing over the ricotta, topping with the tomatoes, then drizzling over the syrup mixture.



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