When I’m feeling hungry and I don’t want to make anything too involved, this is a recipe that I turn to. The pillowy brioche toast, the creamy ricotta, and the interplay of acidity (from the lemon), sweetness (from the honey), and spice (from the black pepper) all work together to create a bite of food that is deeply satisfying. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for breakfast, snacks, or even a passed hors d'oeuvre at a party. Don’t let the simplicity of this dish obscure the fact this it is absolutely delicious.
The quality of the brioche and the ricotta is key to this recipe. Whenever there are only a few ingredients in a recipe, those ingredients must be the highest quality. —Josh Cohen
Test Kitchen Notes
You probably thought there wouldn't be any other way to make toast "fancy," as it seems like we've seen it all, but this recipe will prove you (and us) wrong. It's got all the flavors and textures we love, it's super versatile, and it's a pretty and savory enough dish to serve to guests at a brunch or breakfast party. All you need is a few ingredients, but as the developer, Josh Cohen, mentions above, try to seek out the best-quality products you can find, as that will make all the difference. The bread and cheese do most of the work here, after all, so it's important to get the good stuff.
It also couldn't be simpler to make. Just whisk the ricotta and heavy cream together, then adjust the flavor with as much lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt as you'd like. Spread it over the toasts, drizzle with honey, and season with lots of freshly ground black pepper, and you're all set to go. Garnish with some fresh fruit, such as grapes or berries or melon slices, for a lovely presentation. Ricotta is definitely our favorite kind of cheese to use here, but you could also try with goat cheese, mascarpone, even cottage cheese if you're a cottage cheese lover (though do let us know how that goes in the comments). And if you can't find brioche, you can experiment with challah, pain de mie, or even sourdough. The possibilities are endless and that's what we love about this simple yet crowd-pleasing recipe. —The Editors
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 5 minutes
- Makes 2 thick slices of ricotta toast
whole-milk ricotta (about 6 ounces)
(or more) small squeeze of fresh lemon juice
(or more) kosher salt
thick slices of fresh brioche bread
Honey, for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta and cream to combine. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and whisk again to combine. Taste and adjust with more salt and/or lemon juice. Remember that the acidity from the lemon will ultimately be balanced out by the brioche and honey.
- Toast the brioche until deep golden brown. Spread the ricotta mixture over the brioche. Drizzle some honey over the top of each. Crack some black pepper over the top of each (I like a lot of pepper). If you’re serving guests, I encourage you to cut each piece of toast into quarters.