Homemade ricotta with spring peas and mint & grilled bread

Elena Besser is an In The Know cooking contributor. Follow her on Instagram and visit her website for more.

Homemade Ricotta with Spring Peas and Mint
Serves: 4-6 people
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy
Recipe Courtesy of: Elena Besser

Homemade Ricotta with Peas and Mint: Not many people realize homemade ricotta is only four ingredients and takes about 15 minutes to make. I’ll show you how to make the most luxurious ricotta in your own home so that you never have to use store-bought again! Ricotta will be topped with peas, lemon juice and zest, olive oil and mint and served alongside toasty bread. This is the perfect appetizer for a crowd that celebrates the fresh and bright flavors of the season. 

Credit: Elena Besser


  • 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk 
  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 bunch mint 


  1. Combine milk, heavy cream, vinegar and salt in a medium saucepan and heat until simmering. Cook until curds start to form, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and strain over a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let drain for 10 minutes. Squeeze any excess liquid out of the ricotta.
  2. While the ricotta is draining, cook the peas. Add 1 cup water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 2 cups of frozen peas. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Drain and set aside. Add the zest of 1 lemon, the juice of 1/2 lemon (reserving the other half for another use), 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to the peas. Toss to coat. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. 
  3. To plate, place the ricotta in a bowl and, using a spoon, create a divot in the center for the peas. Top with fresh mint and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with toasted bread and enjoy!

Cook’s notes: Ricotta is best served within four days of making. If you’d like the peas to be more vibrant, shock them in an ice bath after cooking to lock in their bright green color.

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