Sometimes you want a dainty waffle to eat, pinkies out, while wearing frilly blouses and listening to classical music. Contrary to appearances, this is not that waffle. Here's a he-man waffle cloaked in feminine finery, a little froofy garnish masking a substantial, filling interior courtesy of the man of the hour, ricotta cheese.
In my humble opinion, ricotta merits its own food group. Anyone who's ever eaten lasagna appreciates the creamy je-ne-sais-quoi this soft, fresh cheese can add to savory dishes, but it also marries well with sweet. Ricotta fritters showered with powdered sugar? Mmmm. A bowlful of fresh, whole milk ricotta drizzled with honey? Aaaah.
In honor of National Ricotta Day, which I've just made up but decided should be today, I've created these waffles. Yes, they're scented with lemon and dolled up with zest, but make no mistake: 2 squares of these will fill your belly no matter what your size, gender, or hunger quotient may be.
And if you have other favorite uses for ricotta, please speak up. In honor of National Ricotta Day and all.
Recipe for Lemon-Ricotta Waffles
This recipe makes 3 Belgian-waffle-sized waffles, but they are extremely filling. Therefore, I hereby declare they will feed 6 people.
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest (packed), plus additional for garnish
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups milk (I used skim)
1/3 cup ricotta (I used part-skim)
1/2 teaspoon each almond, lemon, and vanilla extract
Warm maple syrup, butter, and blueberries, for serving
Preheat your waffle iron and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest. In another medium bowl (or even a 2-cup glass measure), whisk the eggs, milk, ricotta, extracts, and melted butter.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to blend. Do not overmix. (Batter will be moderately thick.) Scoop about 1 cup batter in the center of your waffle iron and cook according to standard-wafflemaking procedure.
Serve 2 squares per person (seriously, no more), sprinkled with blueberries, additional lemon zest, butter, and maple syrup.