Bruschetta with Ricotta and Pesto
Have I mentioned that I love cute food? Bruschetta ranks right up there in my book of foods that are as enjoyable to look at as they are to eat. Adorable little toasts piled high with colorful and delicious ingredients. Yes, please.
While I love the simplicity of bruschetta, this week I made a slightly jazzed up version of my usual. I smothered baguette toasts with ricotta cheese and my Mixed Herb and Nut Pesto. Then I topped that with sautéed shallots and cherry tomatoes and gave each piece a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Oh boy! It’s like a little party in my mouth! So incredibly delicious and fresh tasting.
I toasted the baguette slices on my NEW pizza stone. I’ve been wanting a pizza stone FOREVER. And this month for my birthday I got one as a gift – yeah! So I’ve become a bit obsessed with using it as much as possible. Apparently pizza stones are good for way more than just pizza – who knew?!?! But you don’t have to use a pizza stone for this – any baking sheet will work great here.
Summer is here and bruschetta is the perfect appetizer to bring to a party or BBQ. These tasted just as good immediately after I made them as they did after they had been sitting on my counter for 2-3 hours (I’m kind of a grazer sometimes). So if you wanted to make these a couple hours in advance, they should hold up perfectly fine. And of course, summer is prime time to be enjoying tomatoes and pesto – this Bruschetta with Ricotta and Pesto allows you to do just that!
Bruschetta with Ricotta and Pesto
- 1 rustic French baguette
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Part-skim ricotta cheese (approximately 1/2 cup)
- Basil or Mixed Herb Pesto sauce (approximately 1/3 cup)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. If you will be using your pizza stone, warm it in your pre-heated oven. Slice the French baguette into 1/2 inch slices (I ended up with 22 pieces). Brush each piece with olive oil. Place baguette slices, oil side down, onto your warmed pizza stone or a rimmed baking sheet. Place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 4-5 minutes. Don’t go much longer then this or the bread will end up way to crunchy. Remove from the oven. Using tongs, flip each piece over so the oiled side is facing up. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a skillet over medium heat, sauté your shallot in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it’s just starting to get soft (approximately 2 minutes). Add the cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until the tomatoes start to get soft and juicy, but don’t let them collapse completely. This should take approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Spread approximately 1-2 teaspoons of ricotta onto each toasted baguette slice. Then spread approximately 1 teaspoon of pesto sauce on top of the ricotta. This part isn’t an exact science. You may find you need a little more (or less) ricotta or pesto, depending on how heavy handed you are with the spreading. I used approximately 1/2 cup ricotta and 1/3 cup pesto. Top with the sautéed shallot/tomato mixture. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.
1. If you don’t like ricotta, goat cheese would be a great alternative. Thin it out first with a little cream so it’s easier to spread.
2. If you want to make these a couple hours ahead of time, I would suggest holding off on the balsamic vinegar. Drizzle it over the bruschetta just before serving.