Fresh Ricotta with Arugula and Flaxseed Pizza

Serves 4 (makes one 9-inch pizza) / Prep tips: Making ricotta is dead simple; leftovers are great on crackers. Of course, purchased ricotta would be fine, too. Whole flaxseeds provide a delectable crunch and added fiber; you could also use sunflower seeds. The combination of hot, creamy, cool, and crunchy is heavenly.

Herb-Lemon Ricotta Cheese (makes 2 1/4 cups)

½ gallon organic whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)

2 cups buttermilk

2 teaspoons salt

Zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh green herbs (basil, parsley, chives, or a combination)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pizza dough

2 handfuls arugula

1 tablespoon whole brown flaxseed, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon sliced chives

1 tablespoon large-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Thinly sliced red onion, for garnish

1. To make ricotta: Combine milk, buttermilk, and salt in a large, nonreactive pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, without boiling, for 5–8 minutes. Meanwhile, line a strainer with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Pour curds (solids) and whey (liquids) through strainer. Let mixture drain for 1 hour. Transfer mixture to a bowl and fold in lemon zest, garlic, pepper, and herbs. Keep ricotta for up to 5 days in the fridge, in a covered container.

2. In a medium bowl, combine Dijon and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil. Set aside.

3. Preheat grill. Create one 10-inch pizza dough crust. Grill dough on one side for about a minute. Flip dough, pop any air bubbles, and spread with ¾–1 cup ricotta. Cover grill. After 3–4 minutes, check crust bottom. If it’s a little charred and dough looks set, it’s ready.

4. When ready to serve, toss arugula with about one-fourth of the dressing or to taste, plus flaxseed and chives. Sprinkle over grilled pizza and garnish with grated Parmesan and red onion slivers, if desired.

PER SERVING: 275 cal, 32% fat cal, 10g fat, 4g sat fat, 26mg chol, 12g protein, 36g carb, 4g fiber, 698mg sodium

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