The sweet licorice goodness of basil pairs well with the tart sweetness of early season strawberries, which is tempered by the creaminess of the ricotta in this fast and easy summer snack. —Derek Laughren
crusty baguette, dealer's choice
highest quality ricotta (seriously, don't skimp)
torn or roughly chopped basil
balsamic syrup (or a reduction of balsamic vinegar)
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Slice the baguette in 1/2" slices, on a bias. Lay the slices on a parchment lined sheet tray and brush lightly with the olive oil. Bake at 400 until crisp on the surface and lightly colored.
Lay a healthy spread of ricotta on each crostini. Toss the sliced strawberries with the torn basil and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Layer the strawberries and basil on the crostini. Drizzle each crostini to taste with the balsamic syrup. Dust the whole tray with coarsely ground black pepper. Place a couple flakes of salt on each crostini to balance the tang of the balsamic.