Outdoor Entertaining

Cherry & Beet Toasts With Ricotta

July  3, 2018
5 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Makes 4 big toasts
Author Notes

Earthy beets and sweet cherries are an unexpected yet totally smashing duo. These meal-worthy toasts are one of my very favorite ways to enjoy them.

A note on the beets. Many different kinds will work: marinated, pickled (as long as they're not too acidic), roasted, or steamed. This is my favorite method for roasting beets: https://food52.com/recipes...

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • Finely grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 3/4 cup sweet cherries, pitted and torn into halves
  • 3/4 cup marinated, roasted, or steamed beets (purchased or homemade), chopped roughly the same size as the cherries
  • 4 large slices from a loaf of crusty bread (such as ciabatta or sourdough), about 1/2-inch thick
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
  1. In a bowl, mix together ricotta, lemon zest, and extra-virgin olive oil until smooth and well integrated. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper (I like to go heavy on the black pepper).
  2. To make basil salt: on a cutting board, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sea salt over the basil. Chop and smear them together until the basil is finely chopped and well integrated with the salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together cherries and beets. Season to taste with 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and toss a few times. Add a few large pinches of the basil salt, and toss again. (Set aside for about 5 minutes, then taste again, adding more lemon juice and/or basil salt if needed.)
  4. To make toasts: In a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the bread (in batches if needed). Toast for a minute or two on the first side, peeking to see if it’s brown and toasty, then flip and toast the other side. Remove from the skillet and let cool for a few minutes.
  5. To assemble toasts: Smear each slice of bread with ricotta, then top with cherries, beets, and mint. Serve immediately, and bring any leftover cherries and beets to the table for spooning on the side.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hand MadeHome
    Hand MadeHome
  • Gayle S. Hoots
    Gayle S. Hoots
  • EmilyC
  • Jane

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

15 Reviews

Jane August 22, 2018
Well, after all my questions, I finally got around to making this. The day before, I made the ricotta from scratch (easy), roasted baby beets, and pitted the cherries, because I thought it would be a bit labor-intensive all at once (and it was). The next day, all I had to do was toast the bread and make the basil salt. I used fresh Balaton cherries-a sweet-tart variety here in northern Michigan. I added a little balsamic vinegar to the mix, since I had roasted, not marinated beets, and added cracked pepper on top of the ricotta. The toast is definitely a sum of its parts...lemon, basil, mint, pepper, creamy, acid...so worth the effort. Amazing!
EmilyC August 23, 2018
Oh wow, your version with homemade ricotta, roasted beets, and sweet MIchigan cherries sounds perfect! Thanks so much for trying them and circling back!
Hand M. August 22, 2018
After inheriting my moms pressure cooker I can now have beats -without losing any of their goodness- in seven minutes or less which is so amazing during season... I sometimes do them halfway and roast The other half if the barbeque is still going after dinner and their caramelized deliciousness is amazing for salads the next day ....nice idea ! I will have to try this one.
Hand M. August 22, 2018
Beets. Hah.
EmilyC August 23, 2018
Cooking beets in a pressure cooker is such a good idea—thanks for sharing!
Gayle S. August 10, 2018
OMG!! I just made this for breakfast… And it tasted like CHRISTMAS!!! 😋😍😋
EmilyC August 10, 2018
: )
Jane August 8, 2018
Are marinated beets the same as pickled beets?
EmilyC August 8, 2018
Good question! Almost always marinated beets have an acid (whether it's vinegar or citrus), but depending on how they're made, that acid may not come through a lot. With pickled beets, you'll most surely taste the acid. For the toasts, either marinated beets or pickled beets will work, but you might like a version that's not too strong or else they might overpower the sweet cherries. Hope this helps!
Jane August 8, 2018
Thank you! Can you give me an example of a brand I could purchase in the store or a recipe to make homemade? I’m afraid of having something too acidic.
EmilyC August 9, 2018
Hi Jane: Are you close to Trader Joe's? If so, I like their 'Cut Beets in Vinaigrette.' Also, the steamed/peeled beets in the refrigerated section (they come in a box) are good, too.

But if you're making the beets yourself, there's really no need to marinate or pickle them! Just roast or steam, peel, and use. My favorite way to roast beets is this method: https://food52.com/recipes/4149-the-best-way-to-cook-beets

I'll add a few notes to the recipe. Enjoy!
Jane August 9, 2018
That’s exactly what I needed-I can do either. Thank you!
(I don’t know why I’m always accused of overthinking everything....😜🤔)
Deborah A. August 11, 2018
I had same question on the marinated beets. Glad I read the reviews! I've roasted beets before & they are to die for. I've got to give this recipe a try!! Thanks
kathleen G. August 20, 2018
I had the same question about the “ marinated” beets. Thanks
EmilyC August 21, 2018
Hi Kathleen: I included a few notes on kinds of beets to use in the headnote. Hope this helps!