Homemade Ricotta and Roasted Tomatoes

A few weeks ago I had some friends over for dinner and decided I wanted another appetizer to serve. In my fridge I had a gallon of milk, lemons and on the counter I had day old Italian bread and tomatoes on the vine. So this little what-I-had-in-my-fridge dish was born.

It's super easy to make your own ricotta cheese, and I promise it's actually a little unfortunate to know how - you'll rarely buy store bought again, it's just no where as good. The roasted tomatoes to accompany it couldn't be easier and the flavor combo is classic Italian flavors. It is just as good in the winter as the summer and can be served at room temp.



  • 1 gallon of whole milk, not organic
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (for sweeter ricotta, use 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt like Maldon 
  • Cheesecloth


  • A nice pile of cherry tomatoes on the vine. As many as you want to eat really, but remember they shrink a little.
  • Glug of olive oil
  • Flaky Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Bunch of basil, chopped and some leaves reserved for garnish
  • Loaf of bread of your choice, sliced


Slowly heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches 185 degrees. It will get frothy on top, and that's ok but we don't want it to boil. While it's heating, line a calendar with cheese cloth and place that over a large bowl.


Turn off heat and pour the juice over the top of the milk. Slowly stir for a minute or two and you'll see some curds start to form. After a few minutes, ladle out the curds into the cheesecloth bowl. Let it drain for about 30-40 minutes for a soft ricotta.


While the milk is coming to temperature, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss on the tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil, sea salt and pepper over them and move them around a little bit to make sure they are all covered. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes have burst and juices are bubbling.


While the tomatoes cool, line a new baking sheet with the sliced bread, drizzle with olive oil and broil each side so nicely toasted.

Place the ricotta into bowls and platter the tomatoes and toast around it. Top with chopped basil and flaky sea salt.