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Breakfast, Lunch, Appetizer: Whipped Ricotta Crostini Recipe

Whipped Ricotta Crostini Recipe For Breakfast, Lunch, Appetizers
[1] Crostini with whipped ricotta and a sweet topping of honey, or savory marinated cherry tomatoes (photo © Belfiore Cheese Company).

Fresh Ricotta Cheese In A Bowl
[2] Fresh ricotta before it’s whipped (photo © DeLaurenti Food & Wine).

Whipped Ricotta With Maple Recipe
[3] When ricotta is whipped, it looks like this. Here, it’s garnished with maple syrup and Calabrian chiles and served with grilled sourdough bread. Here’s the recipe(photo © Pure Maple From Canada)

Toast With Ricotta, Raisins & Pistachio Nuts
[4] As a first course, whipped ricotta is topped with dried cherries, raisins, and chopped pistachios. It can be served as an appetizer with wine, or as a first course (photo © Union Square Cafe).

Whipped Ricotta With Honeycomb & Wine Recipe
[5] Instead of semihard cheeses, whipped ricotta is a natural on crackers and toasts with wine. Here, seasoned whipped ricotta is served with honeycomb (photo © Davanti Enoteca | Chicago).

Grilled Peaches & Ricotta
[6] For dessert: grilled peaches, whipped ricotta, and a drizzle of honey. Here’s the recipe (photo © Good Eggs).

 

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:

  • A topping for avocado toast or on a bagel and cream cheese (or whipped ricotta).
  • As a salad topping and dressing.
  • As a garnish for grilled fish, poultry, and meat.
  • As a dip for crudites.
  • On flatbread or pizza.
  • Mixed into Greek yogurt or atop cottage cheese or other fresh cheese.
  •  
    > Also Check Out Mix & Match Crostini For Breakfast & Lunch
     
     
    RECIPE #1: WHIPPED RICOTTA
     
    Ingredients For The Ricotta

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta (the best is freshly made from an Italian provisioner)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • For honey-topped crostini: 1/2 teaspon minced mint
  • For tomato-topped crostini: pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: balsamic glaze
  •  
    Preparation

    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.).
     
     
    RECIPE #2: MARINATED CHERRY TOMATOES

    If you want the honey topping, simply spoon or drizzle honey from the jar atop the ricotta and crostini.
     
    For the marinated cherry tomatoes:

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, washed, patted dry, quartered
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced very thin and cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped-or-1 tablespoon fresh mint, 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoonred wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Generous pinch of sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    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.
     
     
    RECIPE #3: CROSTINI

    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.

  • 1 baguette or other loaf sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper as desired
  • Optional: garlic cloves or chiles
  •  
    Preparation

    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 cup olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed, or 2 small dried chiles.
  •  
    Cook in a small saucepan over very low heat for 5 minutes (a thermometer should register 180°F. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely at room temperature.

    For crostini:

    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.
     
     
    4. ASSEMBLE

    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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    Watermelon Cocktails For National Watermelon Day

    The weekend is our time for trying new cocktail recipes, and this weekend it’s watermelon cocktails for National Watermelon Month (National Watermelon Day is coming up on August 3rd).

    A glass of watermelon juice is one of our favorite summer refreshers. You can add a squeeze of lime and a splash of something white and alcoholic (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, wine).

    But to celebrate National Watermelon Day, August 3rd, we’re mixing up some cocktails for a small group of friends; specifically, rum cocktails.

    We start with two recipes from Hawaii’s Kōloa Rum Company, an artisanal, single-batch rum producer that we recommended for holiday gifts last year.

    Their mixologists whipped up:

  • Watermelon Rum Punch, made for cocktails but also for the punch bowl. It’s a simple recipe that combines rum with watermelon, lime, sugar and club soda, and is a delightful refresher.
  • Pastel Piña Colada, given a sunset coloration with fresh watermelon. This recipe blends rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream and fresh watermelon: a summer staycation in a glass.
  •  
    Both use Kōloa Rum’s Kauai White Rum (the category is also known as light rum and silver rum).

    They’re great for pool sipping, backyard barbecues, and watching the sunset, as well as for indoor enjoyment, of course. The recipes follow.

    > The history of watermelon.

    > The history of punch.

    > The history of the Pina Colada.

    > The history of cocktails.
     
     
     
    RECIPE: WATERMELON RUM PUNCH

    Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Kōloa Kauai White Rum (or substitute)
  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1 large lime, juiced
  • 1/2 large lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces club soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • Garnish: lime wedge, mint leaves and/or watermelon wedge
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the watermelon, juice of 1 lime, and sugar in a blender; blend until liquid.

    2. MUDDLE the mint and remaining lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add the rum, watermelon mixture, and ice; shake or stir well.

    3. STRAIN into rocks glasses over fresh ice and top with club soda. Garnish as desired.
     
     
    RECIPE #2: PASTEL PIÑA COLADA

    The pastel comes from the watermelon because the watermelon turns the cream of coconut pink.

    Ingredients For 2 Standard Or 1 Large Cocktails(s)

  • 2 ounces Kōloa Kauai White Rum (or substitute)
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce cream of coconut
  • 1 cup fresh watermelon, seeded and cubed
  • 1 cup ice
  • Garnish: pineapple wedge
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ADD all ingredients to a blender and blend until liquid. Pour into a tall glass, garnish and serve.
     
     
    MORE WATERMELON COCKTAIL RECIPES
    Spicy Watermelon Margarita
    Watermelon Cocktail With Gin & Pineapple Juice

  • Watermelon-Cucumber Summer Splash
  • Watermelon Gin Martini
  • Watermelon Margarita< #1
  • Watermelon Margarita #2
  • Watermelon Mint Lemonade
  • Watermelon Vodka Martini
  • Watermelon Wave & 5 More Watermelon Cocktails
  •  
     

  • NON-ALCOHOLIC WATERMELON DRINKS
  • Watermelon Iced Tea Recipes
  • Watermelon Mint Lemonade
  • Watermelon Mojito Mocktail
  •  
     
    WATERMELON DISHES

  • Baked Fish With Watermelon Salsa
  • Chilled Papaya & Watermelon Soup
  • Grilled Spicy Watermelon
  • Pickled Watermelon Rind
  • Savory Watermelon Recipes
  • Watermelon Buying & Storing Tips
  • Watermelon Caprese Salad
  • Watermelon Salad With Feta & Thai Basil
  • Watermelon Salad With Tomato, Basil & Chives
  • Watermelon Salsa With Corn & Black Beans
  • Watermelon Turkey
  •  
     
    ABOUT KŌLOA RUM COMPANY

    Established in 2009, Kōloa Rum Company produces artisanal, single-batch Hawaiian rum and ready-to-drink cocktails at its distillery in Kalāheo, Kaua’i and operates Hawai’i’s first distilled spirits Tasting Room and Company Store.

    The company’s award-winning portfolio includes its premium Kaua’i White, Gold, Dark, Spice, Coconut, Coffee, Cacao, and Aged rums, in addition to a collection of delicious ready-to-drink cocktails.

    Products are available for purchase online, at select retailers nationwide, and internationally in Australia, Canada and Japan. For more information, visit KolaRum.com.

     


    [1] Watermelon Rum Punch (photos #1, #2 and #3 © Kōloa Rum).


    [2] Pastel Piña Colada.

    Koloa White Rum Bottle At The Beach
    [3] Kōloa White Rum.

    Non-Alcoholic Watermelon Cooler
    [4] Watermelon cooler: no alcohol required (photo © Edward Howell | Unsplash).

    Watermelon Growing In The Field
    [5] How watermelons grow (photo by Fred Hsu | Wikimedia Commons).

    Watermelon, Corn & Bean Salsa Recipe
    [6] Watermelon salsa. Serve it with tortilla chips. Here’s the recipe (photos #6 and #7 © National Watermelon Promotion Board).

    Watermelon Caprese Salad Recipe
    [7] Watermelon Caprese Salad. Here’s the recipe.

     

     
     

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    Lobster Mac & Cheese For National Macaroni & Cheese Day

    Lobster Macaroni & Cheese On A Scallop Shell
    [1] Lobster Mac & Cheese on the half shell (photo © Goldbelly).

    Lobster Macaroni & Cheese In Ramekins
    [2] Lobster Mac & Cheese in ramekins (photos #2 and #3 © Bloomingdale’s).

    Lobster Macaroni & Cheese Casserole
    [3] Lobster Mac & Cheese in your own casserole dish.

    Gnocchi Mac & Cheese In A Skillet
    [4] Gnocchi Mac & Cheese. Here’s the recipe (photo © DeLallo).

    Garnished Mac & Cheese With 2 Types Of Pasta
    [6] Two-Pasta Mac & Cheese. Here, it’s elbows and wagon wheels, but you can choose your favorites. Here’s the recipe (photo © Barilla).

     

    Yesterday, July 14th, was National Macaroni & Cheese Day. We were so busy preparing a Bastille Day French-focused dinner that we totally forgot about the Lobster Macaroni & Cheese from Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. It’s one of our keep-it-in-the-freezer-until-you-need-an-indulgent-treat.

    The lobster mac and cheese comes in regular and gluten-free. The regular is available in a plate-your-own version, or ready plated on the half shell (a large scallop shell), or in ramekins.

    They arrive frozen and go from freezer to oven to table in 40 minutes.

    And the flavor: heavenly!

    Mounds of succulent Maine lobster and shell pasta are blended with creamy mascarpone cheese and topped with toasted garlic parmesan panko breadcrumbs.

    It’s the very definition of elevated comfort food.

    Get some to treat yourself, or to send as gifts.

    There’s also Crabmeat Macaroni & Cheese.

    Hancock ships via Goldbelly and Bloomingdale’s.

    Want to look at more delicious food? Head to the Hancock website.

    We’ve been a fan of Hancock Lobster products since we began The Nibble, way back in 2004.
     
     
    NEED MORE REASONS TO CELEBRATE WITH LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE?

  • June 4th is National Cheese Day.
  • July 14th is National Macaroni & Cheese Day.
  • September 25th is National Lobster Day.
  • October 17th is National Pasta Day.
  • October 19th is National Seafood Day.
  • December 5th is National Comfort Food Day.
  • Here’s the whole year of food holidays.
  •  
    And:

  • March 9th is National Crabmeat Day, for Hancock’s Crabmeat Mac & Cheese.
  •  
     
    MAKE LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE FROM SCRATCH

    1) This recipe for Baked Lobster Mac & Cheese With 4 Cheeses adds layers of cheesy flavor with Cheddar, Gruyère, Monterey Jack and Parmigiano Reggiano.

    2) How about Lobster Mac & Cheese With Gruyere & Havarti? You can substitute any two melting cheeses*.
     
     
    > The history of macaroni and cheese.

    > The history of pasta.

    > Lobster trivia, plus 30+ lobster recipes.
     
     
    MORE MAC & CHEESE RECIPES

  • Apple, Texas & Truffle Mac & Cheese Recipes
  • Autumn Macaroni & Cheese
  • Better-For-You Macaroni & Cheese
  • Caramelized Sweet Potato & Rosemary Macaroni & Cheese
  • DIY Mac & Cheese Party Bar
  • Firecracker Macaroni & Cheese
  • Gnocchi Mac & Cheese
  • Macaroni & Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Macaroni & Cheese Potato Skins
  • Passover Matzaroni & Cheese
  • Pasta & Breadcrumbs
  • Ronald Reagan’s Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
  • Two Pasta Macaroni & Cheese
  • Whimsical Macaroni & Cheese
  • Winning Macaroni & Cheese Recipes #1
  • Winning Macaroni & Cheese Recipes #2
  • Winning Macaroni & Cheese Recipes #3
  •  
     
    ________________

    *A melting cheese is one that melts easily when heated. These are the cheeses used for grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and nachos. Examples include Cheddar, Colby, Gruyère, Havarti, Fontina, Monterey Jack, Muenster [American), Provolone, and Swiss [Emmenthal]. Here’s more about melting cheese.

     

     
     

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    French Cocktail Recipes To Celebrate Bastille Day

    It’s July 14th, the day to toast to Bastille Day (“le quatorze juillet” in French). The holiday is officially called the Fête Nationale (“National Celebration”).

    Here’s the history of Bastille Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789. It was a rallying point in the French Revolution.

    How to celebrate?

    If you’re near a French restaurant, head there. If not, here are the 25 top French foods you can cook at home.

    No inclination to cook? Make a sandwich of a crispy baguette, fresh chèvre (goat cheese), sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves, with a grind of fresh pepper and a glass of the French wine of your choice. (This is one of our favorite lunches year-round.)

    Need some French wine pairings with fresh goat cheese?

  • White Wine: Chablis (Chardonnay grape) Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre grape)
  • Rosé Wine: especially Provençal rosé (grapes vary by producer*)
  • Red Wine: fruity reds such as Beaujolais (Gamay grape); Chinon, Saumur and Saumur-Champigny (Cabernet Franc grape)
  • Sparkling Wine:Champagne, Cremant, or the other sparkling wines of France
  •  

  • More Ways To Serve Goat Cheese
  •  
     
    COCKTAILS FOR BASTILLE DAY

    A glass of French bubbly is always popular. Add Angostura bitters, sugar, and a maraschino cherry garnish (updated to a lemon or orange twist) and you have a Champagne Cocktail (recipe in ‡footnote).

    But there are more with which to celebrate.

    Top French cocktails include the Sidecar, among others. Then, there’s the 1789, the date of the storming of the Bastille (the recipe is below).

    Some recipes from The Nibble archives:

  • Chambord Cocktails
  • French 75 & Kir Royale Cocktails
  • Kir & Its Many Variations
  •  
     
     
    RECIPE: 1789 COCKTAIL, THE DRINK FOR BASTILLE DAY

    This drink uses a popular French apéritif wine†, Bonal Quina. You can substitute a sweet red vermouth like Punt E Mes.

    Another ingredient is Lillet Blanc, a French aromatized wine†. If you don’t have any (but we highly recommend it, to drink on its own), a less-sweet substitute is white vermouth.

    Another substitute is St. Germain elderflower liqueur (another favorite of ours), though it’s sweeter than Lillet.

    The 1789 is traditionally served in a Martini glass. You can substitute a small wine glass or a Champagne flute.
     
    Ingredients Per Drink

  • ½ ounce Bonal Quina
  • ½ ounce Lillet Blanc
  • 1½ ounces whiskey
  • Ice
  • Garnish: orange peel
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CHILL a Martini glass (or substitute).

    2. COMBINE the Bonal Quina, Lillet Blanc, and whiskey In a mixing glass. Add the ice and stir to chill.

    3. STRAIN into the chilled Martini glass and garnish with the orange peel.

     

    French 75 Cocktail Recipe
    [1] French 75, made with gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. Here’s the recipe (photo © Tanqueray).

    Kir Royale Cocktail For Bastille Day
    [2] Kir Royale combines crème de cassis with Champagne. Here’s the recipe. A conventional Kir (recipe) is made with white wine (photo © The Mercury | Atlanta [now closed].

    1789 Cocktail Recipe For Bastille Day
    [3] The 1789 cocktail was named for France’s independence day, known as Bastille Day in the U.S. It’s traditionally served in a Martini glass, but you can use a wine glass (photo © Adam Jaime | Unsplash).

     
    ________________

    *The main grape varieties used in Provençal rosés are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Tibouren, and, occasionally, Carignan.

    The difference between fortified wine and aromatized wine: Fortified wines have added alcohol, in the form of flavorless grape brandy. The result is a sweeter, richer version of regular wine. Examples include Madiera, Marsala, Port, and Sherry. Aromatized wines are wines that are flavored with fruit, spices, and florals (angelica, chamomile, chinotto, cinchona, gentian root, mistelle, nutmeg, quinine, and saffron, for example) in addition to the added flavorless grape brandy. Americano (from Italy), Barolo Chinato (Italian), Byrrh (French), Lillet (French), Quinquina (Spanish), and vermouth (originally Italian) are examples.

    Champagne cocktail ingredients: 1 sugar cube, Angostura bitters, Champagne or other sparkling wine (chilled), lemon or orange twist, for garnish. Place the sugar cube on a bar spoon and douse with bitters. Drop the cube into a chilled Champagne flute. Fill the glass with Champagne or other sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist. Some recipes add brandy, but this is the original.
     
     

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    Plantspired Plant-Based Steak From Nasoya Is A Winner

    Plantspired Steak Skewers With Summer Squash & Onions
    [1] Plantspired steak skewers with summer squash and onions (both photos © Nasoya).

    Plantspired Steak Sandwich With Caramelized Onions
    [2] Plantspired Steak sandwich with caramelized onions.

     

    Thank you, Nasoya, for sending us a sample of Plantspired Plant-Based Steak. It’s become a staple in our kitchen, going from fridge to plate in 30 seconds.

    And no one guessed it wasn’t real meat until, towards the end of enjoying a grain bowl, one taster hesitantly asked.

    But in its Korean BBQ Flavor, these tender, marinated, sliced steak-like strips, made with textured soy protein, are char-grilled over an open flame and paired with sweet and smoky bulgogi sauce that goes with everything.

    Walmart also has Plantspired Zesty Mexican Style and a Savory Tuscan Style, for $3.98 (the SRP, which you may find for the Korean BBQ flavor at other stores, $6.98).

    The 7-ounce package (14 grams of plant-based protein) is a generous portion for one and can be split into two servings.

    Plantspired Plant-Based Steak is so versatile:

  • As a main course with vegetables, noodles, rice, or other grains.
  • In a grain bowl or atop a green salad.
  • On a sandwich with caramelized onions and crusty bread).
  • With breakfast eggs (a vegetarian steak and eggs!).
     
    Nasoya has recipes for nachos, breakfast burritos, and more.

    The refrigerated product can be found in the produce aisle at a retail price of $6.99.

    We are not vegan or vegetarian, but strive to eat more plant-based foods.

    “Steak is one of the last categories to present a truly delicious plant-based alternative,” says Nasoya, “and we think we have cracked the code with a product that delivers in flavor, texture, nutrition, and even price.”

    We agree!

  •  

     
     

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