BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Salty Ricotta Salata

with 3 comments

Clean and crisp "kale" with ricotta salata and lemon-shallot vinaigrette.

Funny I should run across two recipes this week calling for salty, crumbly ricotta salata, that somewhat perplexing pressed, dried cousin of regular ricotta, which is made from cow or sheep’s milk’s whey.I’ve pitched up wedges of ricotta salata over the years but never really felt inspired to do much with it. On its own, it tends towards unpleasant chalkiness, with the faint smell of sweaty gym socks. I’ve crumbled it in salads and that’s about it.

Spicy-sweet paprika potatoes with ricotta salata (and feta).

So a small hunk of it sat in our cheese drawer for the past month and a half. I sprang for it (not an expensive cheese) at the Kiva Grocery Store while in Eugene. But that forgotten wedge came in handy when I chanced upon these two recipes: Kim Severson’s Kale (or rather Gourmet’s) and Ricotta Salata Salad and Honey Paprika Potatoes. I substituted mixed greens for the kale in the former recipe and some feta when the salata ran out for the later, but both were still good. Anywhere else you’ve seen ricotta salata turn up of late? Or other whey cheeses for that matter? I still don’t quite understand how cheese is made from this watery milk byproduct. I’ve also once tried this Norweigian Geitost brown whey cheese, which tastes marshmallow-y and too sweet.

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Written by baltimoregon

April 29, 2010 at 12:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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3 Responses

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  1. There are some protein/milk solids left in whey, so that’s why you can still make cheese out of it…though it takes a heck of a lot of whey to make just a small amount of cheese.

    And the other thing about this is that while many traditional whey cheeses like ricotta are (or I should say WERE) made solely with whey, these days cheesemakers often add additional milk to the whey, or dispense w/ the whey entirely.

    PNWCheese

    April 29, 2010 at 7:45 am

  2. Interesting! Who makes the best ricotta in the Pac NW? Anyone local making ricotta salata?

    baltimoregon

    April 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

    • Ricotta can be sort of hit and miss, IMO….Black Sheep Creamery’s sheep’s milk ricotta is really nice if you can find it. Also Jacobs Creamery…and if/when you get down to the Bay Area, Bellewether Farms is to die for…No one is making ricotta salata that I know of.

      PNWCheese

      May 3, 2010 at 7:17 am


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