Ricotta-Basil Olive Oil Spread

This easy spread has an aioli-like consistency but uses no eggs.  Instead, fresh, part skim ricotta stands in lending a creamy-dreamy texture and richness.

Use the Chilean Arbequina for this application.  With its grassy-herbaceousness, apple peel center, and healthy peppery finish, it served to cut the richness of the ricotta and provide an interesting counterbalance.

A clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon and sprig of basil later, the spread came together magnificently.  I toasted some bread and liberally slathered it with the spread.   However, it would be equally delicious as a mayonnaise replacement, a dip for crudites, or spread fresh grilled salmon.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Ultra Premium, ultra fresh 2011 Chilean Arbequina EVOO

five inch sprig of fresh basil, washed and dried

1 clove fresh garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Directions

Place the ingredients inside the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until creamy and smooth in consistency.  Adjust seasoning and store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Pizzettes

Pizzette Dough

I T super fine sugar

2 t dried yeast or ½ oz fresh yeast

¾ c lukewarm water

1 lb all purpose flour (use half whole wheat if desired)

½ t salt

3 T good cooking olive oil

cornmeal

Put sugar & yeast in a small bowl and stir in 1/3 c of the water. Leave in draft free spot to activate. If yeast does not bubble & foam in 5 minutes throw it away and start again.

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Add olive oil, remaining water and yeast mixture. Mix until dough loosely clumps together. Transfer to lightly floured surface and knead 8 minutes, adding a little flour or a few drops warm water if necessary, until you have a soft dough that is not sticky but dry to the touch.

Rub the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Roll the ball of dough around the bowl to coat it with oil, then cut a shallow cross on the top of the ball with a sharp knife. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with clean dish towel or put it inside a plastic bag and leave in draft-free spot for 1 to 1½ hours until double in size (or refrigerate 8 hours to rise slowly).

Punch down the dough to its original size and divide into 2 portions. At this point dough can be refrigerated up to 4 hours or frozen. Bring back to room temperature before continuing.

Working with one portion (half the dough), divide into 12 sections. Push the dough out to make a thick circle. Use the heels of your hands and work from center outwards to flatten the dough into a circle with a slightly raised rim. These will be the bases for your pizettes. The pizza dough is now ready to use. Cook on a lightly oiled tray dusted with cornmeal, get it into the oven as quickly as possible.

For full sized pizza form one portion (half the dough0 into one 12” circle.

Garlic & Rosemary Pizzette

6 oz mozzarella, grated

2½ to 3 T PRIMO Garlic EVOO for brushing & drizzling

2 t chopped rosemary

2 oz grated parmesan

4 garlic cloves thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 475. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal. Brush with 1½  PRIMO Garlic EVOO, then sprinkle the base with mozzarella.  Scatter with crushed garlic & rosemary and drizzle garlic oil over top. Sprinkle with parmesan and garnish with garlic slices. Bake 10 minutes until base is crisp and golden. (Adjust amount of fresh garlic to your liking.)

Tomato and Olive Pizzette

6 oz mozzarella, grated

24 pitted black olives, diced

3 plum tomatoes, diced

4 T PRIMO Tuscan Herb EVOO for brushing and drizzling

12 small basil sprigs

Preheat oven to 475. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal.  Brush with PRIMO Tuscan Herb EVOO, then sprinkle the base with mozzarella. Mix together tomatoes and olives and spoon over bases. Drizzle with oil and garnish with basil sprigs. Bake 10 minutes until base is crisp and golden.

Pizzette with Taleggio and Girolles

6oz girolle mushrooms (substitute golden chanterelle, oyster, morel, or baby shitake)

1 T good cooking oil

1 Tbsp PRIMO Fused Lemon EVOO, plus a little more for drizzling

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

7oz Taleggio (substitute Robiola, Lombardia, or Urgelia) cheese

12 sage leaves

Preheat oven to 475. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal.

Clean mushrooms thoroughly to remove any earth. Warm a pan over a medium heat and, when warm, add the olive oil. Now add the mushrooms, and sauté for one minute. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are just tender and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, bake 6 pizette bases about 8 minutes, until light golden.

Divide the cheese among the six bases and add two sage leaves to each. Place in the oven and cook until the cheese has just melted, about 2 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Place on warm plates and spoon the mushrooms onto each base. Drizzle with PRIMO Fused Lemon EVOO and serve.

Salami and Olive Pizzette

3 Tbsp green pesto

4 oz sliced salami or pepperoni, cut into strips

12 pitted black olives, chopped

extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Preheat the oven to 475°. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal.  Spread with green pesto. Top with salami or pepperoni, black olives, and mozzarella.

Drizzle or brush with the oil, and set aside for 20 minutes, or until puffed.

Bake the pizzettes for 10 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

Wild Rocket (Arugula) and Pine Nut Pizzette

3 Tbsp sun-dried tomato paste

6 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced

1oz wild rocket (arugula), chopped

2 Tbsp pine nuts

2 tsp flavored olive oil of your choice ( PRIMO Wild Mushroom & Sage, Cilantro-Roasted Onion, Tuscan Herb, Garlic, or Basil)

Preheat the oven to 475°. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal. Spread with sun-dried tomato paste. Top with wild rocket and pine nuts.

Drizzle or brush with the oil, and set aside for 20 minutes, or until puffed.

Bake the pizzettes for 10 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

Gorgonzola Pizzette

6 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled

12 cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tsp flavored PRIMO EVOO of your choice (Wild Mushroom & Sage, Cilantro-Roasted Onion, Tuscan Herb, Garlic, or Basil)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

salt & ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 475°F. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal.

Sprinkle gorgonzola cheese over the bases. Top with tomatoes, pressing them gently into the dough.

Bake until pizzettes are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drizzle pizzettes with oil and sprinkle them with basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Caramelized Onion Pizzette

2 Tbsp good cooking olive oil

2 large onion, sliced (about 1 cup)

kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste

1 tsp sugar

¾ cup  goat cheese, crumbled

3 oz prosciutto (about 5 large slices), cut into 2 by 2-inch pieces

2 tsp PRIMO herbs de Provence EVOO

Parsley or rosemary sprigs, for garnish

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine. Continue cooking over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and dark golden brown, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 475°F. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal.

Place a small spoonful of the caramelized onions on each dough circle. Top with a small amount of goat cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

While still hot, top each pizzette with a piece of prosciutto. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with the PRIMO flavored EVOO of your choice and sprigs of parsley or rosemary. Serve immediately.

Fontina and Prosciutto Pizzette

3/4 cup grated Fontina cheese

6 cherry tomatoes quartered

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp PRIMO Tuscan Herb EVOO

3 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil

3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely torn into strips

Preheat oven to 475°F. Place six bases on lightly oiled cookie tin dusted with cornmeal.

Sprinkle rounds with Fontina cheese, dividing equally. Place 4 tomato quarters on each round, pressing gently into dough. Sprinkle tomatoes with Parmesan cheese.

Bake pizzette until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drizzle pizzette with PRIMO Tuscan Herb EVOO, then sprinkle with basil and lightly with salt and pepper. Top with draped prosciutto strips.