Tag Archives: toonsbridge dairy

Fruity Ricotta and Honey Toast

Fruity Ricotta Honey Toast
Fruity Ricotta Honey Toast
A Delicious Quick Breakfast
A Delicious Quick Breakfast

It seems every time I put up a post on a breakfast dish, I harp on about how much I love breakfast etc. Instead in this post I will harp on about how much I love West Cork. I took some time off last week to go home, chill out, meet friends and of course… Eat good food! Every time I arrive at my parent’s home in West Cork, I instantly feel relaxed. Of course it helps that I have no internet coverage, our house is in the middle of a load of fields. Every morning when I wake up before breakfast, I like to pick some bright flowers of all colours and varieties that grow around our house to brighten up the kitchen table. Our house is surrounded by trees and when you look out the window as you drink your tea, or sit in the garden, reading your book, you can watch all the little rabbits emerge from their burren and hop along our garden. How could you not chill out here, right?

Add to this mix that West Cork has the best food produce in the country (sorry, I know I’m probably biased, but it’s true). So when we head down we either stop in Supervalu in Clonakilty (which is really just like an indoor version of the English Market that sells the most delicious artisan and local foods that were produced honestly) and when we’re down there we stock up on local meat, fish, veg, and pick up sweet treats and cheesy delights at the local farmers markets. That’s before even mentioning the batches of food we make when picking Wild Garlic when it’s in season, or the blackberries that grow wild on all the hedgerows.

Wild Montbretia Growing Along Our House
Wild Montbretia Growing Along Our House
These Beautiful Fuchsia Are The West Cork Symbol
These Beautiful Fuchsia Are The West Cork Symbol
Wild Thistle
Wild Thistle
I Think This Bright Yellow Bush That Grows By Our House is Ragwort
I Think This Bright Yellow Bush That Grows By Our House is Ragwort
And I Have No Idea What This Is, But I Think It's Quite Pretty!
And I Have No Idea What This Is, But I Think It’s Quite Pretty!

All of this leaves me craving my trips to West Cork so I can leave well rested and well fed as usual. The last time I was down, I decided to make an easy and delicious breakfast that used some of Cork’s best ingredients. You can easily replicate this with whatever food you have local to you, and the best part is that this takes pretty much no time or effort, but tastes amazing.

You Can Use Any Soft Fruit On This Ricotta Toast
You Can Use Any Soft Fruit On This Ricotta Toast

Ingredients (Serves 2):

4 Slices of good quality bread (I used Arbutus Bakery’s Medieval bread- a fruit and nut spelt bread)

1 tub ricotta cheese (I used Toonsbridge Dairy buffalo ricotta)

2 tsp runny honey (try Youghal honey… amazing!)

4 figs/ apricots or other soft fruits

  1. Toast your bread until just crisp and generously smear with ricotta.
  2. Slice your fruit and lay it on top of your toast. Then drizzle with some honey.
  3. Yes that is it, it really is that fuss-free!
A Perfect Way To Start The Weekend
A Perfect Way To Start The Weekend

Three Cheese Spinach & Bacon Lasagne

Three Cheese Spinach and Bacon Lasagne
Three Cheese Spinach and Bacon Lasagne
Three Cheese Bacon and Spinach Lasagne
Three Cheese Bacon and Spinach Lasagne
It's All About The Layers
It’s All About The Layers

Last weekend I went home to Cork for the Taste of West Cork Festival. Lots of amazing food was eaten, copious amounts of blackberry jam was made and my sister and her boyfriend made me dinner! I was really impressed with this dish and decided to recreate it last night for a friend who was coming over to dinner. I have to say this is one of my all-time favourite comforting meals! This cheesy spinach and bacon lasagne was so comforting yet so tasty. My sister used Gubbeen Smoked bacon which was amazing, but I used cooked ham, and this dish is great to use up leftover cooked ham from the weekend if you’re having a traditional Sunday lunch. If you’re a vegetarian, leave out the bacon & it’s equally mouth-watering.

This dish is seriously tasty and seriously cheesy! Buying great cheese makes a great difference. I am I serious Toonsbridge Dairy fan, as most of my blog readers know, and used their Irish buffalo mozzarella and buffalo ricotta. I suggest buying fresh lasagne sheets as it does decreases cooking time (30 to 40 minutes instead of an hour!) I made my own pasta sheets as since getting a pasta machine, I’m playing away with it a lot. It makes such a difference, but it doesn’t matter too much if you used dried it will still be a winner. It’s best served with a salad. My dish was a small one and serves 4 comfortably, so just increase the quantities roughly if you’re feeding more people.  Leftover portions are great frozen for a quick meal the following week. Enjoy and let me know what you think! If you have any unusual lasagne fillings I’d love to hear them as I experiment with my pasta machine!

This Picture Honestly Just Makes Me Hungry!
This Picture Honestly Just Makes Me Hungry!

Ingredients (serves 6):

For the cheesy sauce:

500ml whole milk

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp plain flour

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

For the lasagne:

Lasagne sheets (enough to cover your dish for four layers)

200g cooked ham (thickly sliced) or smoked streaky bacon lightly fried

400g baby spinach

200g ricotta cheese

Handful pine nuts

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (more flavoursome than powdered nutmeg)

1 ball mozzarella

Extra grated parmesan for sprinkling on top

  1. Fry pine nuts in a dry pan for a minute until they brown and set aside. They burn quickly so keep your eye on them!
  2. Make the sauce first by adding all ingredients to saucepan except the Parmesan cheese over a medium flame. Whisk for about 3 to 5 minutes until its hot and thickened, then turn down heat, add Parmesan cheese and stir for a few minutes. Season with a little cracked black pepper. Remove from heat & cover with kitchen towel or foil to prevent skin forming.
  3. Wash spinach and dry. Place in a pan with some butter and salt. Stir gently until spinach is lightly wilted. Remove when cooked and squeeze out moisture (you may need to pat off excess water with a kitchen towel.) Add ricotta cheese and a half cup of the sauce, stir together and season with salt, pepper & nutmeg.
  4. Now it is time to assemble! Spread enough sauce to cover the base of your lasagne dish, then add a layer of pasta. Add a layer with half of your spinach mix. Then a layer of pasta sheets. Then a layer of sliced mozzarella and ham. Then a layer of spinach and pine nuts. Cover with pasta and pour the remaining sauce over the top.
  5. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes until golden. If your lasagne starts to brown too quickly, cover with tinfoil and pop back in to the oven. When cooked garnish with a little grated Parmesan and any leftover toasted pine nuts.
  6. Enjoy, preferably with a large glass of wine if it’s going!
My Fresh Pasta Sheets
My Fresh Pasta Sheets
Creamy Ricotta Spinach Filling
Creamy Ricotta Spinach Filling
Start Layering Up Your Lasagne
Start Layering Up Your Lasagne
Top Final Layer With Cheese Sauce and You're Done
Top Final Layer With Cheese Sauce and You’re Done
Hot From the Oven
Hot From the Oven
Delicious Cheesy Bacon and Spinach Lasagne
Delicious Cheesy Bacon and Spinach Lasagne
The First Forkful
The First Forkful