Ricotta Breakfast Bowl

Everyone can agree on the immediate deliciousness of ricotta in pasta and on toast. But have you tried a scoop of ricotta for breakfast? It tastes like yogurt’s cool older cousin. So, to kick off a month of cheese (!), we’re excited to share this easy morning meal from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Near and Far. Here’s how to toss it together…

Ricotta Breakfast Bowl
By Heidi Swanson’s Near and Far

I’ve received many notes from the Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, kitchen of my childhood friend Nikki Graham. They’re typically short and often sum up something she’s cooked for herself (or her family of six). I look forward to her ideas, because they’re off-the-cuff and unfussy and often put ingredients together in a way I might not have thought about. This ricotta breakfast bowl is an example — substantial and a nice alternative to yogurt. We both use the best quality whole milk ricotta we can find. Putting this bowl together is all about personal preference, so if you’d like more nutty crunch, go heavy on the almonds.

Recipe: Ricotta Breakfast Bowl
Serves 1

You’ll need:

1/2 banana, sliced
1/3 cup good ricotta (whole milk recommended)
Fine-grain sea salt
Drizzle of honey or chunk of honeycomb
Sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds
Dried fruit (golden raisins, sliced dates or figs)

Arrange the banana slices to the side of the bowl. Season the ricotta with a bit of salt to your liking. Add the ricotta to the other side of the bowl. Top with a drizzle of honey (or a chunk of honeycomb if you can get your hands on it), almonds and dried fruit.

Note: For a savory version, drizzle the ricotta with good olive oil and sprinkle generously with a mixture made from 1/3 cup toasted almond slices ground in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt, a small garlic clove and eight whole coriander seeds.

Thank you so much, Heidi. Your cookbook is beautiful.

P.S. More recipes, including a breakfast party board, and an heirloom tomato and ricotta tart.

(Reprinted with permission from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography credit: Heidi Swanson © 2015. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)