Inspiration for this baked orange ricotta with figs & Hatch chiles gives me the kind of excitement that comes to mind like Christmas morning. I get in a rut with my recipes and menus like a lot of people so when the inspiration for something new comes along, I write it down as fast as I can and then I develop the recipe. The one thing that I look for to start my inspiration in the kitchen is what is in season and Hatch chiles and figs are in season right now and paired together in this dish is something worth more than café conversation for sure. This warm ricotta with a hint of orange combines with the sweetness of fresh figs and the spiciness of roasted Hatch chiles makes for a perfect tapas on grilled baguette alongside a crisp glass of wine. Did you know that Hatch chile peppers are unique to only to the Rio Grande agricultural territory in Hatch, New Mexico and is often referred to as the chili Capital of the World. This recipe will not only be a hit at your next soiree, it will also be a great conversation starter, who doesn’t like to talk about good food. Serve small dishes of this baked cheese along with other cheeses on your charcuterie display or it can easily stand alone as a simple starter before dinner.
Orange Baked Ricotta with Figs & Hatch Chiles
This autumn inspired dip has a slight spiciness from chilies combined with sweet figs making a perfect baked cheese spread for those chilly fall evenings
- 1 pint full fat ricotta
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- 2 1/2 tbsp 2 roasted Hatch chiles, skinned, seeded and chopped
- 4 figs, chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp course ground pepper
- 4 tbsp Parmesan/Romano cheese blend, divided
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place the hatch chiles on a parchment or foil lined sheet pan and spray them with cooking spray, roast until brown and blistered, about 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes; peel the charred skins of the chiles, seed and chop them. Turn down oven to 350 degrees
In a small mixing bowl combine the ricotta, orange zest, honey, garlic, hatch chiles, figs, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons parmesan/romano cheese and thyme.
Pour into a non sticking sprayed baking dish and sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of parmesan/romano cheese, baked uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown, if it does not brown, put it under the broiler for a few minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with toasted baguette or crackers and garnish the top with chopped figs and a sprig of thyme