Rambunctious Citrus and Basil Ricotta Cheese Pancakes

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

Taking chances seems to be in my blood. It’s not something I was necessarily taught growing up, but the idea has never scared me. Whether it’s blindly moving across the country for my first job after college or starting my first business at the age of 21. It never hurts to try something new.

Taking risks or accepting a challenge is something I feel strongly about and it has paid off more times than not. I try to teach my kids this as well. And even if you aren’t one for taking risks, it never hurt a person to try new foods and flavor combinations. Just because it may not sound like a certain set of flavors would go well together, doesn’t mean it to be true. That usually comes from what we were brought up to believe was the case.

And until you try something, you will never know what works and what doesn’t.


  • 3/4 Cup Whole Milk, Cold
  • 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbs. Orange Juice
  • 1 Tbs. Lemon Zest
  • 1 Tbs. Orange Zest
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbs. Melted Butter, Salted
  • 1 1/8 Cups Self-Rising Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbs. Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Fresh Basil, Chopped Fine
  • Chunky Applesauce


  1. In a small bowl, melt your butter in the microwave. Set aside to coolest to to room temperature as you start your pancake batter.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together your cold milk and baking soda. Th1en add your ricotta cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, egg and vegetable oil. Whisk together until completely smooth, ensuring that there are no lumps of ricotta cheese.
  3. Add your melted butter to your batter and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Next, add your sugar and mix until well combined.
  5. Add your remaining dry ingredients, your self-rising flour, baking soda,ground ginger and finely chopped basil. Mix well until all ingredients are combined and you don’t have any lumps.
  6. Heat your skillet or griddle over medium heat. Butter your skillet or griddle well and using a ladle, pour your pancake(s). Once you start to see small bubbles popping on your pancake then its time to flip. Continue cooking until both sides are brown.
  7. Serve with chunky applesauce and enjoy this sweet / savory take on an all time breakfast favorite.

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