Herbed Ricotta Dip with Vegetables

Another variation on the theme of plain, raw vegetables.

Fresh ricotta can be hard to get but the stuff sold in tubs in the supermarket just doesn’t cut it. Go to a good Italian deli or cheese shop to seek out the fresh version. It’s milky, sweet-smelling, and almost crumbly.–Diana Henry

LC Behold, The Power of the Dipper! Note

One of our treasured recipe testers–you do, of course, realize that we test each and every recipe to perfection before we trust it enough to put it on the site for you, yes?–relayed to us that this recipe inspired her five-year-old to eat an entire bag of baby carrots. Behold, the power of the dipper! This dip and dipper may do the same for vegetable-challenged adults in your house—just send them to work with this in their brown-bag lunch. Betcha they don’t trade it for anything.

Herbed Ricotta Dip with Spring Vegetables Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • For the dip
  • 1 pound absolute best-quality ricotta (the caliber of this single ingredient will make or break your dip)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed or grated
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 lemon, both the grated zest and a good squeeze of lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the dippers (a few suggestions, for inspiration)
  • Raw sugar snap peas, topped and tailed
  • Raw favas, peeled
  • Radishes, whether French breakfast or otherwise, scrubbed
  • Baby carrots, scrubbed
  • Cherry tomatoes, in any hue
  • Black olives
  • 1 loaf artisanal bread, such as ciabatta, thinly sliced and, if desired, toasted

Directions

  • Make the dip
  • 1. Mash all of the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours (but no more) to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Prepare the dippers
  • 2. Arrange the vegetables on a cutting board or on plates. Cover and refrigerate up to several hours.
  • Serve the dip and dippers
  • 3. Allow the dip to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour prior to serving. Set it out alongside the vegetables.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Tracey G.

Apr 18, 2011

This dip will forever live in my mind as the one that convinced my 5-year-old son to eat an entire bag of carrots in one sitting. I love that the vegetables easily can be swapped out to fit people’s likes and dislikes. Make sure to use a high-quality ricotta—it makes a huge difference. Also, don’t leave out the mint; it’s what gives this dip its fresh spring taste. This dip was great on a toasted baguette, and great as a sandwich spread. An easy hors d’oeuvre for Easter.

Testers Choice
Cynthia D.

Apr 18, 2011

This ricotta dip does those luscious spring veggies justice! It’s light as air, and isn’t as fattening as the ubiquitous Ranch dressing dips that we’ve all been known to serve with crudite. We amped it up with extra garlic, which I highly recommend if you’re garlic lovers like us. Also, I’d recommend not letting the dip sit for longer than a few hours before service. I thought it would be OK to make the night before, and while it was, I did have to add in more fresh herbs to get a fresher flavor. Be sure to try this out with pears and apples, as well.

Testers Choice
Rita C.

Apr 18, 2011

Delicious, simple, and fresh. This was a great recipe for a vegetable dip. Finely chopping the herbs and garlic is key, as is serving the dip at room temperature. I’d also suggest using a food processor next time to make this recipe even easier. The recipe yield and number of servings were very generous, and it looked great on a platter with a bountiful array of vegetables.

Testers Choice
Abigail Corn

Apr 18, 2011

This recipe is very easy to prepare. It’s versatile enough to be a spring or summer plate for guests, a light dinner for family, or as part of a brunch served with crackers and a nice salad. The lemon zest gave the dip a twist that was a nice change from our usual cheese mixture. We liked it very much!

Testers Choice
Joel Jenkins

Apr 18, 2011

This recipe is a great opportunity to use that leftover ricotta from pasta dishes or cheesecakes. The mint, lemon zest, and squeeze of juice brings a light, refreshing taste to the dish. Allowing the dip to come to room temperature is an important step, as the flavors heighten as it warms. The same importance should be emphasized for allowing time for the flavors to meld. If your ricotta is a little dry, you can add a couple tablespoons of milk or cream. The dip was particularly tasty against the sharpness of the radishes. I also used red and green bell peppers. I didn’t understand the shelled peas or fava beans as a dipping vegetable—it’s hard to dip a pea. (Maybe the intent is to spread the dip on some toasted bread and then add the beans.) The next time I make this, I’ll add minced olives to the cheese.

Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

Apr 18, 2011

I started by making my own ricotta. Once I learned, several years ago, how easy it was to make ricotta from scratch, I never bought it again. After making the cheese, you just mince garlic, snip herbs, zest and squeeze a lemon, add oil, salt and pepper, and stir it all together. I served the dip in a bowl with a generous garnish of the fresh parsley and mint. It was terrific as a spread for crusty bread slices. Any variety of vegetable dippers would work well, though a colorful array nicely complements the green-flecked dip. I’m glad I gambled and made this for a party—it was a big hit! A guest who makes her own yogurt exclaimed how delicious it was.

Comments
Comments
  1. ruthie says:

    I’m not too crazy about ricotta, but the homemade is an improvement. In this recipe, the herbs and lemon make the cheese more palatable for me, but I still increased the garlic to three good size cloves and crumbed in some feta. Those little salty hits in there really make it for me. ;)

    • Beth Price says:

      Couldn’t agree more about those little salty hits, Ruthie. And the additional garlic. They really help to give dips that extra wow factor.

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