As you probably can tell by now, I love to use stone fruit in savory dishes. I came up with this recipe one day upon returning home from the greenmarket with 3 lbs of various plums. I thought the tiny cherry plums were a perfect one-bite size and so I started to pair them with other savory ingredients. The end result? A creamy ricotta based crostini resting under a grilled plum with it's sweetness brightened by the balsamic reduction and the black pepper adding a nice fiery bite. Again, mint, the quintessential summer herb, brings out the freshness. This is a great hors d'ouevres that will put a smile on your guests' faces. - cucinettaNYC —cucinettaNYC
Test Kitchen Notes
The end result of this recipe is just what we'd all think and hope for: a lovely, lively combination of flavors and textures. The use of a balsamic reduction gives a nice, concentrated punch, and the mint is a refreshing finish. I love sheep's milk ricotta but cow's milk ricotta, though a bit milder, would work just as beautifully. After halving the plums, I recommend slicing a little of the rounded side so the half can sit on the crostino with a little stability. I also found it helpful to brush the plum with a little olive oil before it went on the grill and suggest toasting the bread on the grill as well (instead of putting it in the oven). - vvvanessa —The Editors
baguette, cut into 1/4" rounds
cherry plums (or any other "bite-size" variety), halved and pitted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place baguette rounds on parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with oil and salt. Bake until rounds are golden, approximately 10 minutes. But check periodically because they can burn quickly.
Place balsamic vinegar in sauce pan and reduce by half. You want to create a syrup. Once desired consistency is reached remove from heat.
Remove baguette rounds and let cool on rack.
Preheat grill pan until hot. Drizzle plums with olive oil and place on hot grills, cut side down, for less than 1 minute. You want grill marks to form but you do not want to soften the plum.
Once baguette rounds have cooled, spread approximately 1 tablespoon of fresh sheep's milk ricotta on each round.
Top each round with grilled plum, cut side facing up (to show grill marks.)
Next, drizzle each crostini with balsamic syrup reduction.
Lastly drizzle with some fruity olive oil, freshly ground pepper and salt.
Right before serving, sprinkle each crostino with mint.