Make Ahead

Ricotta Trio with Toast Crusts

March 17, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4 or more
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. - mrslarkin —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

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! - boulangere —boulangere

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Waverly
  • boulangere
  • gingerroot
  • Lizthechef
  • fiveandspice

30 Reviews

Waverly December 5, 2013
This sounds wonderful and easy. "Saved".
boulangere April 20, 2013
YesYesYes! I'm going all Meg Ryan here because I remember these beauties so vividly!
mrslarkin April 20, 2013
i knew you wouldn't forget, b. the salty honey lavender, my favorite.
boulangere March 31, 2011
Hooray for you for making the EPs!
mrslarkin March 31, 2011
Thanks so much, boulangere!! I'm grateful to you, and delighted! Good luck this week!!
boulangere March 31, 2011
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!
boulangere March 29, 2011
I love this! I love it, I love it, I love it! 3 unique flavors, each a surprise!
mrslarkin March 29, 2011
Yippee!!! So glad you enjoyed this, boulangere. Thanks so much for letting me know.
boulangere March 29, 2011
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!
mrslarkin March 30, 2011
Yep, totally agree. The lavender is intoxicating, isn't it? Try some in blueberry scones - it'll knock your socks off.
boulangere March 25, 2011
So glad I get to test this - it caught my eye as soon as you posted it, and it's a great idea!
mrslarkin March 25, 2011
Thanks so much for choosing this one, boulangere!! I hope you enjoy it!
gingerroot March 22, 2011
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?
mrslarkin March 22, 2011
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.
gingerroot March 23, 2011
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
mrslarkin March 25, 2011
Lizthechef March 17, 2011
Very nice, Ms. Liz!!
mrslarkin March 17, 2011
Thank you Liz!
fiveandspice March 17, 2011
Fabulous! Yummy!
mrslarkin March 17, 2011
thanks 5&s! it was very yummy.
nannydeb March 17, 2011
Mmmm. I could make a meal outta that...
mrslarkin March 17, 2011
aargersi March 17, 2011
mrslarkin March 17, 2011
oh yesssss!
hardlikearmour March 17, 2011
mrslarkin March 17, 2011
healthierkitchen March 17, 2011
wish I knew how to do the hearts!! Would like to eat this tonight!
hardlikearmour March 17, 2011
hearts are alt+3 on the number pad of your keyboard.
healthierkitchen March 17, 2011
mrslarkin March 17, 2011
??? Wow it works!! Thanks hla and hk!