Give the toast or the bagel a rest, and try these savory or sweet whipped ricotta crostini recipe. Top crostini (which are, actually, toasted bread) with creamy, spreadable ricotta and your choice of marinated tomatoes or honey—or one of each.
Crostini is the Italian name for croutons. These are not the small cubes served on American salads. Rather, they are pieces of toast like a sliced, toasted baguette or a similar Italian loaf.They don’t have to be from a round or oval loaf like a baguette.
Many Americans confuse crostini with bruschetta. Bruschetta is the same slice of bread that is grilled rather than toasted.
If you have a grill and want to grill the bread instead of toasting it, that’s A-OK.
Tip: Make a double batch and use the marinated cherry tomatoes as:
1. PLACE the ricotta in a small mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer with beaters or the whisk attachment, blend for 2 minutes until the ricotta is creamy smooth and creamy (tiny lumps are O.K.).
If you want the honey topping, simply spoon or drizzle honey from the jar atop the ricotta and crostini.
1. ADD the first five ingredients to a bowl; stir gently to combine.
2. ADD the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix to coat the tomatoes and allow the flavors to meld at room temperature for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. STORE leftovers in the fridge for a few days.
You can use any type of bread. Baguette is popular for the size of the slices, but we often use quartered rounds of pita and halved or quartered slices of crusty French country bread.
For optional infused olive oil:
Before brushing the crostini with olive oil, you can first infuse the olive oil with garlic or chiles if you desire.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Place the baguette or other bread slices on a baking sheet and lightly brush or drizzle with olive oil (you don’t have to coat the entire surface). Flip them and brush the other side.
2. SPRINKLE with salt and pepper and toast for 5-7 minutes, turning halfway through. Bake until golden; be sure that they don’t burn.
3. REMOVE from the oven and rest.
For the bruschetta:
1. BRUSH the olive oil on each side of the baguette slices. Place on a grill pan and grill over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, until toasted.
2. SEASON with salt and pepper and rest.
1. SPREAD the toasted bread with the whipped ricotta. Top with either honey or drained, marinated tomatoes. Drizzle balsamic glaze over crostini with tomatoes.
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