I learned that I can feed many people on sliced toasted baguette, ricotta cheese, and lots of different toppings. I also learned that it is fast and fun and inexpensive. The biggest challenge for me was to decide which toppings to make so that they would be both delicious and visually attractive on the table. I spent hours perusing recipes. There are literally hundreds of topping recipes but only a handful that I chose. The following are the winners.
To assemble the crostini, smear each toasted bread slice with about a tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Add a bit of lemon zest for a bit of zing to the cheese. Spoon topping onto each piece of toast, and enjoy.
To assemble the crostini, smear each toasted bread slice with about a tablespoon of ricotta. Spoon topping onto each piece of toast, and enjoy.
Basil and lemon
Mix together a handful of chopped fresh basil and mix with lemon zest from 5 lemons and drizzle olive oil over it.
Chop white mushrooms and sauté on high heat in olive oil Watch carefully and stir often until lightly browned. Add chopped parsley and stir for one minute. Remove, cool and add a drizzle of olive oil.
1 pound seedless grapes (I used crimson grapes)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 rosemary sprigs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a shallow 8 x 8 baking dish, mix together the grapes, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, juice from 1/2 lemon and rosemary. Transfer to the oven for 10-12 minutes and until the skins are slightly puckered. Remove and set aside.
Roasted grape tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pints grape tomatoes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tomatoes are very soft and skins have burst, 1 hour. (Refrigerate roasted tomatoes in an airtight container, up to 3 days.) Divide cheese among crostini and top with roasted tomatoes. To serve, drizzle with oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Roasted pepper and olive
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
6 ripe kalamata olives (chopped, drained)
1 tbsps red wine vinegar ( optional)
1 TBS drained and rinsed capers
1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 1 small clove)
1 small roasted each of red pepper, and orange pepper ( thinly sliced)
Combine olives, capers, basil, vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl; gently stir in peppers.