For some reason, during Ramadan I tend to see, make, eat and enjoy appetizers the most. It’s nice to have something light but substantial at the initial breaking of the fast, but it’s more than that for me. Maybe it’s because when the fast-breaking time comes every evening, it’s one of the sweetest moments I experience (whether the appetizer is sweet or savory). I love biting into something I can hear crunch, maybe because it then actually feels like the sound of food. I’m not sure what it is, but I enjoy it.
Dates, Tamarind & Walnut phyllo appetizers
One of the tastiest new ways to have Iftar are these new sweet appetizers by Saffron Road (pictured above). They have two different kind, one with Dates, Tamarind & Walnuts and the other a Turkish Figs & Goat Cheese variety. I created a dip to have with them, something creamy and with a bit of fresh citrus zest to celebrate the tastes of summer and bring home a reminder of the Mediterranean I love so much. It’s simple to make, with fresh and simple ingredients:
Just be sure to use fresh organic lemons, especially since you’ll use the citrus zest directly in the dip. Add some evaporated cane juice or turbinado sugar, or even honey to the ricotta if you like things on the sweet side.
In a small bowl, add the whipping cream to the ricotta and give it a whisk to combine all the ingredients. Then grate the lemon zest directly over the bowl.
Be sure to check the back of the grater- I always find a ton of zest back there, which is perfectly usable and wonderful- use every bit of it!
Whisk it again.
And again, to get all the lumps out. You may even want to add a few drops of fresh lemon juice- just taste and see if you like it that way.
Serve in a separate bowl with the warmed appetizers for dipping.
The hardest part is waiting until Iftar to enjoy it, but that’s ok- self control, discipline, and willpower are all things to gain from Ramadan, so we can practice with tasty things like this…
And the wait is worth it….
What other sweetened or creamy dips would you suggest with these new appetizers? Lemon Ricotta Dip Serves 4-6 Ingredients
1 cup Ricotta cheese 1- 2 teaspoons raw cane sugar (optional) 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (or more, if desired) fresh citrus zest
Directions Place Ricotta cheese in a medium size bowl. Add the sugar whisk until dissolved. Add the whipping cream then grate the lemon zest on top of the cheese/sugar mixture and mix to combine. Serve as a dip with your favorite sweet appetizers or add a little extra whipping cream and pour over fresh pitted dates with slivered almonds or chopped pistachios on top. Giveaway
*Update: This Giveaway Is Now CLOSED*
Leave your comment to be entered to win this fabulous gift basket from Saffron Road. One winner will be randomly-selected to win the basket which contains the items listed below. Be sure to read our official guidelines before entering. Giveaway ends at 12:01 am on July 27, 2012.
- one of each of Saffron Road’s four new simmer sauces
- several coupons for $1.00 of Saffron Road products
- several coupons for FREE Saffron Road products
- one copy of my book on eco-friendly cleaning with recipes for homemade cleansers, Clean Your Kitchen Green
- one My Halal Kitchen apron