Simple & delicious; a fine pairing
During the holidays we hosted a work gathering at our home. With a group of a dozen people, I made all of the dishes for this cocktail reception. I wanted all of the foods to be eaten easily while standing. No one wants a food that is messy or requires a knife. One easy way to do this was to make some sort of bruschetta.
I initially was going to make a hot bruschetta from the early days of Think Tasty. Although it’s delicious, I decided that I didn’t want to be attached to the oven during the party. I also didn’t want to go with classic bruschetta of tomatoes. Sure, most people like it, but I wanted something more memorable. Thus, I began to think about how I could have some sort of cold, unique bruschetta.
As I thought about different cheese-based dishes, cannoli came to mind. Quite often their ricotta filling has a hint of lemon, which means those two ingredients play well together. If I made a ricotta and lemon topping but didn’t sweeten it, wouldn’t it work as bruschetta? The answer was yes, sort of.
The ricotta and lemon pair well. But placed on a crostini as is, the dish fell flat. Salt gave the dish a bit of a spark but didn’t really enhance the lemon. So, I tried honey, and this recipe was finalized. Although it becomes sweeter, the tartness of the lemon and savory nature of the ricotta remind you it’s still an appetizer.
The biggest, most important caveat to this recipe is that you must use good ricotta. There are a couple options.
- Make your own ricotta using my recipe: Homemade Ricotta
- Go to a cheese shop or Italian grocery and get their homemade ricotta.
The ricotta you get in the dairy section of yourgrocery store is fine if it’s hidden under layers of sauce, noodles, and more. When the ricotta is the front and center ingredient in the dish, you need to buy the good stuff. Honestly, buying or making the ricotta may be the hardest part of the dish. Other than that, it’s ready to go in about 10 minutes.
- 1 baguette
- 1 lb. ricotta
- 1 lemon
- Sea salt, optional
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut baguette into thin slices.
- Place slices in oven and bake for 5 minutes or until golden.
- Place ricotta in a small bowl.
- Zest lemon, add to ricotta.
- Juice lemon, removing any seeds, and add to ricotta.
- Stir well.
- Top crostini with a hearty teaspoon of ricotta mixture.
- Drizzle with honey.
- Sprinkle with a flake or two of sea salt, if desired.