Friday, April 18, 2014

Lemon Ricotta on Toast, 6 Ways

Before I get into my little spiel, I just wanted to let you know that I have some photos and a quick review of EN Japanese Brasserie (in NYC) up on my travels blog. My favorite friend hosted her fiancĂ©'s birthday party there.
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I am so excited about this warm weather. I love the sunshine and I'm excited to plant our garden! According to the internet the last frost is April 30th so this weekend we're going to figure out what we want to plant and to get the garden boxes all ready. I've really grown to love gardening. It's a ton of work but it's also a lot of fun and it's really rewarding to eat super fresh produce picked by your own hands, you know?

Today, I thought I'd share another way to use my homemade lemon ricotta. Actually six ways! Well, six different toppings for a lovely ricotta-smeared toast. These would be a great delicious appetizer or hors d'oeuvres or even a dish to serve at brunch.
Ingredients:
French bread
extra virgin olive oil
lemon ricotta (or regular ricotta)
+ salt & coarse black pepper
+ prosciutto
+ tomato & basil
+ berry jam
+ apple slices
+ honey

Just an FYI, there's no recipe page for this because you don't need it! I'm just sharing a concept with a few ideas for toppings and I think everyone's smart enough to get the gist, right?

Start by preheating an oven to 400F. Slice a loaf of french bread on an angle and generously drizzle each piece with extra virgin olive oil. Use a really flavorful olive oil and use each piece of bread like a sponge to mop up the oil that's trickled onto the pan. Pop the bread in the oven for about 5 minutes until they look toasty and crisp.
Spread each crunchy toast piece with some lemon ricotta and then add on the yummy toppings.
I'm sharing six suggestions here, three sweet and three savory:
  • berry jam
  • apple slices
  • honey
  • tomato slices and basil leaves
  • thinly sliced prosciutto di parma
  • salt and coarse black pepper
These are so good! I think all of them are yummy so it's tough to pick a favorite but I love the simplicity of the salt and pepper and of course the honey is an amazing complement to the fresh lemon ricotta. The salty prosciutto is delicious with the creamy cheese and the crunchy toast. Tomato and basil is always a winning combination, especially with the lemony ricotta. Berry jam and cheese? C'mon, have ever had baked brie and raspberry jam? This is it's equally good looking cousin. And of course, crisp apples always pair so nicely with a good cheese.

Obviously I'm only showing one of each here but if you were having a little get-together, I would recommend making a tray with multiples of each kind to pass around. Add in a cold glass of white wine (with one ice cube for me, please) and you've got yourself a winner.
Cheers.

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