May 10, 2009

Savoury Afternoon Tea

This was supposed to be my post about three weeks ago. I had the pictures ready to go and I had enjoyed eating some of the content. However everything was up in the air after I dashed off to Sydney. My aunt had a massive stroke and her life will never be the same again. She still may not even survive. I have left her in God's hands. Many thanks to those of you who left best wishes; so very kind of you.

So here I am trying to regain some kind of normality. As I recall this baked ricotta is so easy, delish and above all healthy so whats not to like about it. You can replace the sundried tomatoes with olives or capers or whatever you like. Try not to complicate the ricotta with too many ingredients. It keeps for about a week; that is if it lasts that long.

I love Italian breads, particularly their ciabatta. Sometimes I cut even slices and bake them till crisp right through. They are my substitute for cracker biscuits. Well sealed in a plastic bag they can keep for ages. Use for dips, spreads or toppings.

The capsicum morsels were so fresh and so full of goodness. Red capsicum is one of my favourite foods ever! There is lots of connection with the past; baking capsicum aromas often filled the kitchen that I grew up in. Only roll up what you intend to consume because they do not keep as well. The basil leaves inside the roll become soggy and tend to oxidize rather quickly when left too long. Still the components are easy and they are quick to assemble if you have the urge to eat them.

Baked Ricotta Pot

200gm ricotta
1 small egg
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
5 large basil leaves, shredded
1 tbsp pinenuts
salt & pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl; mix through till really well combined. Oil a baking container & line the bottom with baking paper.Place a nice basil leaf on the bottom; press the mixture into the container.You may prefer to use two smaller baking dishes. Bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or till golden & puffy.

Capsicum Rollettes

100gm ricotta cheese
good squeeze fresh lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
fresh basil leaves
roast capsicum slices, skin off

Mix the ricotta with lemon & salt. Slice the capsicum into even sized lengths. Place a basil leaf onto the slice; spoon some ricotta onto the leaf; roll up; secure with a toothpick. Drizzle with some olive oil if desired. Sprinkle with some fresh sage leaves.

A delightful afternoon tea or snack at any time packed with loads of nutritional goodness.


  1. This presentation is A+++.
    That food looks so tasty, I think I'd be mad to pass it up and coming from me, that's a bit thing.

    Very lovely, mama.

  2. Gee thanks for your appraisal Issy. Wish I was able to share it with you. It was so great to see you last week. Really, really great.
    X Ma

  3. So sad to hear about your Aunty Marianna. Keep us updated with any news, thinking of you.

    This ricotta pot looks so delicious!!! I am going to make this for sure - Bruno will love it. He has hated ricotta for such and long time as he used to go to the ricotta factory with his parents and pick up the tubs fresh. YUM!!!

    It doesn't have the nicest of smell in the factory and it has put him off for a long time. Finally though, slowly, slowly he has started enjoying it again!!

    Will let you know what he thinks..... he's still asking for your scones. lol

  4. Kylie make sure before you use the ricotta you extract as much liquid as you can by pressing the cheese between some sheets of paper towelling. Also only use the fresh product from the deli section in your supermarket. Do not buy it if it has any traces of yellow as this means it is getting old. Fresh ricotta is highly perishable unfortunately. I never buy ricotta prepackaged in the tubs. It is way too runny.
    Good luck!

  5. Over here in Kerikeri can you believe we can't buy FRESH RICOTTA what are they thinking!!?? You would really believe with the influx of Italian's and the rest of Europe that they would sell it somewhere .....but no where to be found in the stores here...and yes have everything else but not that. Lovely recipe by the way.

  6. Oh my Gayle, really. I just came back from Sydney and found a little Italian deli near the area where my aunt used to live. I have never eaten such beautiful fresh ricotta. I bought about 200gm every morning for the five days I was there and just ate it as is. So beautiful.

    Well if that is the case, if I were you I would be finding a dairy, getting some fresh milk and making it myself. There is lots of cheesemaking going on in the blogosphere so you can easily find a recipe how to do it. I am very tempted myself just for the experience.

  7. Hi there, Do you serve the baked ricotta hot or cold?
    Looks wonderful.