This Ricotta, Parmesan, and Roasted Garlic Dip Makes the Perfect Snack
Inviting some pals over to hang out can quickly turn stressful when you realize they’re going to expect some food. Before you reach for your phone to order delivery, take a few deep breaths. Homemade eats don’t have to be difficult. With original recipes from our Everyday Appetizers series, you can pull off showstopping starters without losing your cool.
It’s easy to get carried away with the food when you have a couple of friends over for drinks. After all, it is kind of fun to flex your culinary muscle from time to time. A casual weekend gathering just isn’t the time to do it. Fussy food has a way of making people feel a little on edge. You’re much better off making something simple and inviting, and this creamy, cheesy dip is both. Just set it out with some dippers, then watch it disappear.
About this recipe
Many cheese dips fall under the hot and bubbly category. While artichoke dip and fondue are both completely delicious, they aren’t very appealing when it’s still steamy outside. This ricotta concoction incorporates some of the star ingredients you find in those winter snacks, like Parmesan and roasted garlic, but gives them the chilly treatment. Another good reason to go with a dip that doesn’t hit the oven? It won’t get that unappealing, congealed texture after sitting out for more than 20 minutes. In fact, this dip can hang out at room temperature for quite a while without losing any of its appeal.
The first step for this snack is roasting garlic. It can take up to an hour, but it’s also a completely hands-off process. You just cut the top off a head of garlic until the cloves are exposed. Give it a little drizzle of oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in foil, and bake until the cloves become soft and golden. Though this recipe only calls for one head of garlic, you can roast a huge batch to freeze for later. Once the garlic has cooled off enough to handle, squeeze the cloves out on to a cutting board, mash into a paste, then scoop small spoonfuls onto a sheet tray lined with waxed paper or parchment. Pop the tray into the freezer until they’re solid, then transfer to a zip-top bag. They’ll keep for months. You can add roasted garlic to sauces, soups, dressings, or mayo for a fantastic sandwich spread.
Once the garlic is good to go, this recipe comes together in a matter of minutes. Just mix the smashed cloves into the ricotta with all the other ingredients, adjust the seasoning, and stash it in the fridge until your pals arrive. Since this recipe is so simple, you want to use the freshest ricotta you can find. The stuff that comes in sealed tubs at the regular grocery store is a lot drier, but it will also work if you stir in a tablespoon or two of cream to help loosen it up.
We like this dip best with a nice Aperol spritz, but it’s also delicious on its own.
Ricotta, Parmesan, and Roasted Garlic Dip
Choose an assortment of dippers to suit all of your guests preferences. The health-conscious crowd will appreciate some raw veggies while salt fiends will go for pretzels. This recipe is enough for at least four people.
- 1 large garlic head
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- Pretzels, crackers, bread, crudité, or other dippers
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off top quarter of garlic head. Drizzle exposed cloves lightly with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake until garlic turns light golden and has completely softened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove garlic from oven. Let cool.
Squeeze garlic from skins. Using the side of a knife, mash roasted garlic into a paste, and add to a medium bowl. Fold in ricotta, Parmesan, mayonnaise, herbs, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve dip with pretzles, crackers, bread, or veggies.