Ricotta Trio with Toast Crusts

By • March 17, 2011 • 30 Comments



Author Notes: I don't remember which Little Italy Mario was visiting when I spied him on t.v. eating a ricotta sampler, each fresh-made mound doused in three different toppings. Inspired by that moment, I've been eating this combination for the past few days. The toast crusts are inspired by Wave Hill Bread's Just Crusts. By all means, buy those if you're pressed for time - they are super delicious and highly addictive. - mrslarkinmrslarkin

Food52 Review: This lovely concoction caught my eye the minute it was posted. I had a feeling it might be interesting for an hors d'oeuvres buffet, and I believe it will be! It was almost unbelievably simple to prepare, and I even made my own ricotta. Each of the 3 toppings is utterly unique in flavor and visually beautiful. I had expected to prefer the fig preserves with red chili flakes (you know, that sweet, hot, hot thing), but in fact I kept going back to the lavender and salt over honey—it’s amazing, and not a combination I would have thought of. Thank you so much, mrslarkin! - boulangereboulangere

Serves 4 or more

  • 1 pound very good quality whole milk ricotta (I use Calabro brand)
  • acacia honey, or other mildly-flavored honey
  • coarse sea salt
  • lavender dust (ground dried culinary lavender)
  • fig preserves, stirred until smooth-ish (I use Bonne Maman)
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • aceto balsamico tradizionale (or you can reduce some regular balsamic to a syrup)
  • fruity olive oil
  • meyer lemon, orange, or lemon zest (or a mix)
  • 1 day-old crusty loaf of bread (I use a loaf of Wave Hill Bread's Pain de Campagne)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for the toast crusts
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. FOR THE TOAST CRUSTS: Cut loaf in half width-wise. On a cutting board, stand the half-loaf up cut side down. With a serrated knife, shave off the crust of the bread into long strips. You want about a 1/4" thickness on the strips. Not too thick. Move the loaf around and continue until all you are left with is the inner core of the bread. Reserve inner core for croutons. I shave the whole loaf, the darker bottom too.
  3. Cut the strips into roughly 2" pieces. You'll have about 3 to 4 cups of crusts. Place crusts in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle on salt to taste. Toss until well coated.
  4. Place crusts on a sheet pan and bake about 10 minutes, or until dark and toasty, but not burnt. Keep an eye on them! When done, remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container or zipper freezer bag.
  5. FOR THE RICOTTA TRIO: With a large ice cream scoop dipped in warm water, place a scoop of ricotta on three plates. If you are making just one serving, you'll have leftover ricotta.
  6. Drizzle one scoop with honey. Sprinkle coarse sea salt and lavender dust over.
  7. Spoon another scoop with fig jam. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste.
  8. On the last scoop, drizzle with Balsamico Tradizionale and olive oil. Grate some fresh zest over top.
  9. Alternatively, divide the pound of ricotta among three plates. Continue with step 6.
  10. Serve with toast crusts.
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Tags: ricotta, savory, sweet

Comments (30) Questions (0)

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8 months ago Waverly

This sounds wonderful and easy. "Saved".

Dscn2212

over 1 year ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

YesYesYes! I'm going all Meg Ryan here because I remember these beauties so vividly!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

i knew you wouldn't forget, b. the salty honey lavender, my favorite.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Hooray for you for making the EPs!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks so much, boulangere!! I'm grateful to you, and delighted! Good luck this week!!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The pleasure was truly all mine in making this - I've still got the taste of that lavender-salt-honey blend in my mind! You are so very kind, thank you!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I love this! I love it, I love it, I love it! 3 unique flavors, each a surprise!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yippee!!! So glad you enjoyed this, boulangere. Thanks so much for letting me know.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, seriously, that lavender-salt-honey combination stopped me in my tracks! I'm all for hothothot flavors, and expected to prefer the fig-red pepper combo. But the lavender one has a complexity I never expected. Brilliant!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yep, totally agree. The lavender is intoxicating, isn't it? Try some in blueberry scones - it'll knock your socks off.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So glad I get to test this - it caught my eye as soon as you posted it, and it's a great idea!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks so much for choosing this one, boulangere!! I hope you enjoy it!

Img_1958

over 3 years ago gingerroot

Not sure how I missed this...this might be my perfect meal...I wonder if my kiddos would mind if I served this for dinner?

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I bought some more fresh ricotta today. Guess what I'm having for lunch tomorrow?? Hope you and the kids like it! Let me know if you try it.

Img_1958

over 3 years ago gingerroot

Just enjoyed a mrslarkin inspired version of french toast - french toast with Maui lavender sugar, whole milk ricotta and a drizzle of maple syrup. (Kiddos passed on the ricotta...boy is convinced he does not like cheese and the girl is going through a phase...okay by me - I'll gladly eat their share!). Thanks for the inspiration! xo

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

:-)

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Very nice, Ms. Liz!!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thank you Liz!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Fabulous! Yummy!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

thanks 5&s! it was very yummy.

Lobster_001

over 3 years ago nannydeb

Mmmm. I could make a meal outta that...

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

exactly.

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

THINK PICNIC! Yum!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

oh yesssss!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

???

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

:-)

Dsc_0048b

over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

wish I knew how to do the hearts!! Would like to eat this tonight!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

hearts are alt+3 on the number pad of your keyboard.

Dsc_0048b

over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

thanks?!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

??? Wow it works!! Thanks hla and hk!