Make Ahead

Ricotta crostini with roastedĀ fennel

March 17, 2011
Author Notes

When I think about creating a recipe with a particular ingredient, I get inspiration from the origin of the ingredient. So for ricotta, I thought of classic Italian ingredients that would compliment, without overwhelming, the cheese. Here I used a peppered salami and roasted fennel. The savory salami together with the sweet roasted fennel play enhance each other and don't overpower the ricotta. To balance out the whole dish, I used a dash of aged sherry vinegar on the fennel. Just for fun, I topped the crostini with a fried sage leaf. All of the flavors relate to one another and topped on a crispy crostini, the textures work beautifully. —meganvt01

  • Serves 6
  • Crostini
  • 1 good quality baguette
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Crostini Topping
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 splash aged sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 6 slices best quality peppered salami, cut in shapes to fit on your crostini
In This Recipe
  1. Crostini
  2. Preheat your broiler and move an oven rack to the top position.
  3. Slice the baguette diagonally to get a larger piece of bread.
  4. Using a kitchen brush, brush each side of the crostini with extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle each side of the crostini with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Place the crostini on a broiler rack and broil one to two minutes per side. The crostini should be crispy but not too hard.
  7. Set the crostini aside for later assembly!
  1. Crostini Topping
  2. Preheat your oven to 425.
  3. Remove the fronds and core from the fennel bulb and roughly chop.
  4. Toss the chopped fennel with the 2 T extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Place the fennel on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to ensure the fennel does not burn. Remove from oven and put in a bowl with a splash of sherry vinegar (not too much!)
  6. Mix the lemon zest into the ricotta. Set aside.
  7. Put the 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat in a small skillet.
  8. Cook the sage leaves in the hot oil for approximately one minute, until crisp but not brown.
  9. Transfer the sage leave a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with salt.
  10. Slice the salami in half, placing each half lengthwise on the crostini. Slather the salami with 2 tablespoons or so of ricotta, depending on the size of your slice. Top the ricotta with 1 to 2 tablespoons of roasted fennel. Top the entire crostini with a fried sage leaf.

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  • foxeslovelemons
  • CozyDelicious
  • meganvt01

Recipe by: meganvt01

After spending years in school while working full time, I'm happy to finally have my evenings pursuing my other passion, cooking! I have a 4 year old boy and a husband that are both adventurous eaters and supportive tasters. I spend a good bit of my vacation travel preparation researching local and regional foods and my friends all make fun of my food obsession. I've always been pretty confident with my techniques cooking from recipes but I am enjoying Food52's challenge of putting those techniques to work for my own versions of my favorite foods. I love to learn and the group of people that contribute to this site are a great resource. As an Annapolis native, I love to cook with our local produce and seafood whenever possible. I try to support our community of fisherman, farmers, other food producers and chefs as much as possible.