What's more popular as an appetizer than a dip? Whether it's a salsa with crispy chips, a silky blue cheese melange with spicy chicken wings, or a simple herbed mayonnaise-and-sour cream mix surrounded by crudites, dips are enduring crowd-pleasers.
The dip featured here is uncomplicated and quick to assemble. It calls for only four ingredients: a premium ricotta, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh-chopped thyme and a touch of salt. The toasted baguette slices that accompany it are just as effortless. They are brushed with olive oil, toasted in the oven and then rubbed with a cut garlic clove.
To make the dip, ricotta cheese is whipped, using an electric mixer, for a few seconds until it is smooth and creamy, then the Parmigiano-Reggiano is added. Finally, fresh-snipped thyme and salt are stirred in. Whipping the ricotta produces a lovely texture, while the salty Parmigiano-Reggiano and the assertive thyme provide perfect flavor boosts for this fairly neutral cheese. For serving, spoon the ricotta into a bowl, garnish with the golden baguette croutons, and add some red or yellow cherry tomatoes for a jolt of color. Voila! A chic new dip to enjoy with your friends.
Whipped Ricotta Dip with Garlic-Rubbed Toasts
1 1/2 cups premium ricotta (see Note)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano- Reggiano
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme, plus a few sprigs for garnish
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
For the Garlic-Rubbed Toasts:
24 baguette slices, cut about 3/8 inch thick
Olive oil for brushing the bread slices
2 medium-size cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (red or yellow or a combination of both), for garnish
To prepare the dip: Place the ricotta in a mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth, for about 30 seconds. …