Another incredible recipe from Lauren Wilkinson at Groovefood–the perfect appetizer for those crisp Fall and Winter nights that one just can’t stop dipping into! This recipe has been adapted from her Groovefood recipe and her Gruyere and Bacon Dip recipe in the Del Mar Flavors Cookbook.
Warm Ricotta, Pancetta and Caramelized Onion Dip
3 medium sweet onions, sliced into 1/4 inch half moons, then quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt & pepper
1/4 pound pancetta, diced into 1/4 inch cubes OR 12 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, lightly packed
2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
sliced baguette, ciabatta or crackers for serving
heat the olive oil in a heavy, medium-sized saute pan over medium heat. add the onions and stir to coat in the olive oil. cook for a few minutes, stirring so as not to burn the onions, then turn the heat to medium-low. season with the thyme leaves, a generous pinch of salt and several cracks of black pepper. cook the onions, stirring from time to time, for 45-70 minutes, until they are deeply golden and shrunken down in size. make sure to watch the heat so they do not burn. set the onions aside in a bowl to cool to room temperature.
wipe the saute pan clean with a paper towel and place the pancetta or bacon in it. set the pan over medium heat and cook the pancetta or bacon, stirring often, until it is lightly crisp. remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool.
preheat the oven to 375. grease a medium-sized baking dish (enough to fit about 4 1/2 cups of dip) with olive oil. place the ricotta and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine. add the cooled onions, pancetta or bacon, gruyere and parmesan to the bowl and fold all the ingredients together. spread the dip evenly in the baking dish. bake for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown on top.
* color is a good indication of when your onions are done. i like mine just past golden.
* although this dip is quite decedent, the ricotta makes it divinely light in texture
* if you cannot find sweet onions, use yellow onions. if you cannot find pancetta, bacon is a perfectly acceptable substitute. don’t use reduced fat cream cheese. just get a baggy sweater.