On Saturday, I made fresh ricotta to use in Pasta with Four Cheese and Fresh Tomatoes. I used the delicous, simple and very reliable recipe from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo To make two cups of creamy ricotta, you heat milk, cream and buttermilk in a saucepan until the mixture bubbles gently and curds form. Cover the pot for thrity minutes, then strain your cheese. It couldn't be easier. I needed about half of the cheese for the pasta recipe; the rest I used in this bruschetta.
My good friend Jenny just recieved a well deserved promotion, so her husband threw her a surprise party on Sunday evening to celebrate. Somehow, Pete kept an unknowing Jenny tucked away in their attic (a gorgeous a third floor office) while their two daughters hearded guests into the kitchen. Once she made her entrance, heartfelt toasts were made and champagne was passed, her family and close friends bursting with pride at what Jenny has accomplished. A wonderful family and an impressive career. She's quite an inspiration.
- 1/2 French baguette
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
Cut 12-14 quarter inch slices from the baguette, cutting on an angle. Reserve rest of baguette for another use or feed to the children gathered around you begging for a slice.
Brush each side of baguette with oil. Sprinkle top side lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Cool.
- 1 cup of ricotta (I used fresh, whole milk cheese, but a high quality store bought cheese will work just as well)
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan (I used a microplane to grate mine so that it was very fine and fluffy)
- Freshly ground pepper
Mix ricotta and parmesan. Season with pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt if needed. You can make a few hours ahead, but have the cheese at room temperature when you are ready to assemble the bruschetta.
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, boiled until reduced to a syrup (optional)
- About 3/4 pound cherry and/or pear tomatoes, rinsed, dried and quartered
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded finely
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
White balsamic vinegar has a sweet-tart flavor that is a nice compliment to the tomatoes. If using, boil in a small saucepan until it is reduced to a syrup. It will take 3-5 minutes, but watch carefully. It will cook down very quickly at the end and can burn.
Mix reduced vinegar, tomatoes, basil and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand for 1-2 hours.
Just before serving, spread each crostini with a generous tablespoon of the ricotta mixture. Top with a generous tablespoon of tomatoes. Serve.