Savory strawberry ricotta dip

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Besides being gorgeous and delicious, this strawberry ricotta dip comes together in less than 5 minutes. The creaminess of the cheese, matched with the sweet tartness of the strawberries is perfect. The vinegar, herbs and salt keep it from feeling like dessert. Variations abound, and you can easily customize to your tastes. A vegan version could also be made with macadamia nut ricotta or a strained vegan yogurt.

I like to choose a pretty serving plate to maximize the artsy vibe of this dish. Any fresh herbs could be used here, and edible flowers are lovely as well. I used tarragon, mint, baby arugula, thyme, and chive blossoms.

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta (fresh chevre, whipped with whole milk to loosen, or mascarpone would also be good, see note above about vegan options)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 thinly sliced, hulled strawberries (sliced blueberries, cherry tomatoes, plums or peaches would also be lovely)
  • a drizzle of olive oil (the best you have)
  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (another fruity vinegar would work, but I like the dark color of balsamic)
  • small handful of herb leaves, baby leaves if possible, or torn into smaller pieces if needed

Spread the ricotta onto a serving plate (1/2-1 inch thick layer), making dips and swirls with the back of your spoon. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Arrange the strawberry slices across the cheese, leaving white space between, and then drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic. Scatter the herbs over, arranging so that each portion of the dip will have some strawberry and some herbs. Serve with crackers, apple slices or toasts. Alternatively, you could top small toasts for some fancy bruschetta to pass at a party.

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