02 April 2013

Mushroom, Thyme & Ricotta Tartine

My last couple of batches of ricotta have, well, they have failed & not resulted in homemade fresh cheese.  I had no idea why as I was doing what I had always done.  At Cook the Books Cheese & Vegetarian class earlier this week I found out why.  My beautiful, sweet , juicy lemons are just not acidic enough to work the magic that separates the curds from the whey to deliver a batch of  fresh, creamy homemade ricotta. With that problem solved homemade ricotta is back on the agenda.  It really couldn’t be easier, plus it tastes wonderful, light & creamy, & even better it will cost you a smidgen of the bought stuff on the supermarket shelves. 

Alongside the fresh creamy ricotta Autumn, albeit so far a wonderfully sunny Autumn, was putting me in the mood for earthy & rustic.  Thyme in the garden & mushrooms in the fridge the perfect combination for a quick & speedy lunch on top of some crunch baguette.

I could have called these bruschetta, or even a plain old open sandwich of sorts, but since we had baguette I felt a leaning towards France & called them tartines!

tar·tine [tahr-teen; French tar-teen]
1. a fancy French open-faced sandwich topped with spreadable ingredients.
2. a piece of bread spread with butter, jam, etc.

Mushroom, Thyme & Ricotta Tartine


1 baguette
Olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 tbsp thyme leaves, plus a few more for garnish
Ricotta, bought or homemade*
Salt & pepper

*Homemade Ricotta

2 litres whole milk (homogenised - it’s the silver top in NZ)
1 tsp plain salt (un-iodised)
1 tsp citric acid dissolved in a 1/4 cup of cool water


Place the milk & salt in a heavy saucepan & bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly.  The milk needs to reach at least 90C / 195F & it is easiest to check with a milk thermometer.  If you don’t have a thermometer just keep a careful eye on it.  Once the milk comes to the boil remove it from the heat.  Stir in the dissolved citric acid & leave it to stand for 1 minute.  It will thicken in to curds & separate.  Leave the ricotta to stand for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

With a slotted spoon carefully layer the curds in to the ricotta basket or in to a colander lined with muslin.  Leave the ricotta to drain until you have your desired consistency, the longer you leave it the drier & more crumbly as opposed to moister & creamier.  Store in an airtight container & store in the fridge where it will keep for up to a week.

For all things cheese head over to Mad Millie 

Pre heat oven to 180C / 350F

Slice the baguette on the diagonal in to 2 cm / 1 inch sliced.  Place on baking tray & drizzle with a little olive oil.  Place in the oven & bake for 10-15 minutes, until crisp & golden.  Remove from the oven & set aside.

While the tartine are baking sauté the mushrooms.  Add a little olive oil to a frying pan & heat over a medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms & season with a little salt & pepper.  Add the thyme & sauté until cooked through & you have a little colour on the mushrooms.  Remove from the heat & set aside.

Smear a good amount of ricotta on each tartine, top with mushrooms, a few fresh thyme leaves & a little drizzle of truffle oil.

Et voila, lunch is served.  A little waft of truffle, earthy mushrooms & thyme, settle in to creamy ricotta over crispy, crunchy baguette.

If you like this you might like this Mushroom & Rocket Salad with Truffle Honey Vinaigrette
One year ago Banana Loaf



  1. Mushrooms & thyme are such a "made for each other" combo, aren't they? Love this idea for a quick and easy autumn lunch, Mairi, and I love that you made your own ricotta. I've also found that using citric acid instead of lemon juice gets consistently better results.

    1. Yes I'll be sticking with the citric acid from now on :) And yes something wonderful about mushrooms, thyme & ricotta :)

  2. Oh, Mairi, I adore everything on this tartine! I haven't made ricotta in ages and you're inspiring me to do so. Simply scrumptious!

  3. It's true. All edible fungi - including those ordinary white button mushrooms sold in supermarkets - are capable of preventing and reversing cancerous cellular changes. We aren't exactly sure why. Perhaps it's because fungi search out, concentrate, and share with us the trace minerals we need to build powerful, healthy immune systems. Or perhaps it's because of their wealth of polysaccharides - interesting complex sugars that appear to be all round health-promoters. It could be because mushrooms are excellent sources of protein and B vitamins with few calories and no sodium. Or we could single out the anti-cancer, anti-tumor, and anti-bacterial compounds found in the stalk, caps, gills, and even the underground structures (mycelia) of every edible mushroom. buy mdma pills New Zeland

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