You know what’s awesome about living in Northern California?
No…it’s not all of the great hiking. Nope…it’s not the perfect weather. Nooo…not the endless amount of things to see and do.
It’s the FOOD! At least, for me it is.
Okay, I know a lot of places in the world have incredible food and I’m not denying that.
But when you’re a vegetarian who loves finding new and tasty ways to eat healthy while enjoying a nice tall glass of vino, California is pretty much a perfect match.
Almost every time we eat out, I am inspired by something on the menu. Like this ricotta spread for example. We had an appetizer similar to it when we went wine tasting at Wente Vineyards and I just couldn’t get enough.
The light and creamy texture flavored with a touch of honey and fragrant, toasted pine nuts smeared on top of soft, warm and fluffy bread.
Oh, so good.
Actually, I tell Brandon it is absolutely necessary for us to eat out on a regular basis so that I can continue to gain inspiration for the blog. Hehe…
It’s nice to take a break from the kitchen sometimes too, right?
Believe or not, as decadent and satisfying as this spread is, you won’t be spending much time in the kitchen to make it. I’m talkin’ ten minutes, people. That’s it.
Ten minutes yields you a deliciously fancy appetizer with just the right touch of sweetness and still leaves you plenty of time to consume that bottle glass of wine.
Ricotta, Mascarpone, Goat Cheese & Honey Spread
Makes 14 ounces spread
- 8 ounces Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 4 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
- 2 ounces Goat Cheese (could also use 4 ounces for more goat cheese flavor)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Start by preheating the oven or toaster oven to 350°F. Then line a cookie sheet with foil and spread the pine nuts on top.
Place the pine nuts in the oven for about 7 minutes, until light golden brown and deliciously fragrant.
While the pine nuts are baking, combine all three cheeses in a bowl or food processor (processing gives it a fluffier texture) along with one teaspoon honey. Stir or process until well combined and then scoop into a serving bowl. Mix in about half of the pine nuts with the cheese, then sprinkle the remaining nuts on top.
Drizzle with the rest of the honey and then serve along side warm, pillowy focaccia.
If you are trying to avoid bread, it would also be great with fresh veggies or crispy crackers. Or maybe even some fresh fruit like sliced nectarines or peaches…sweet Jesus.
This spread is the perfect treat for a relaxing evening at home with your favorite person and your favorite wine, but it also fancy enough to take to a dinner party and impress a few of your friends, if you wish.
Really, you can serve it however or whenever you please just don’t forget the wine!
Where do you draw your inspiration in the kitchen from?
What’s your favorite appetizer?