Our famous wine country neighbor and chef, John Ash, makes this rich warm cheese dip with a light, airy, soufflé-like texture that can’t be beat for any occasion. In addition to crudités, he serves it atop a salad or pasta. Chef Ash declares his favorite is Whole Milk Jersey or Sheep Ricotta from Bellwether Farms, found in specialty retailers around the US, and never recommends low fat or skim milk versions.
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
2 cups Bellwether Farms Whole Milk Jersey or Sheep Milk Ricotta
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not out of the green can!)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium clove of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely minced, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Butter for the baking dish
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Generously butter a 2-cup baking dish or piece of oven-safe pottery and set it aside.
In a food processor add all ingredients except butter and pulse until smooth. Scrape the mixture into the buttered dish, set the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Let it rest for 3-5 minutes before serving hot with crusty bread, crackers, or vegetable sticks.