Strawberry and Ricotta Toast
When I walked into the grocery store this morning, I fell prey to fresh strawberries. They were bright red, plump and the stems were still green and full of life. While they would be delicious on their own, I thought of one of my favorite comfort foods, strawberry and ricotta toast. Think of it as an Italian spin on bagels and cream cheese. It’s a perfect start to your day, an incredible mid afternoon snack, and a crowd pleaser when served at brunch. If you’re only making a couple of slices, put the bread in the toaster. If you’re cooking for a crowd, use the broiler. Note: As a rule of thumb, when a recipe calls for very few ingredients, I tend to try to buy the highest quality. My grandmother taught me, if you don’t start with a good chicken, you won’t end up with a good chicken, no matter what you do to it. So, if the peaches look better than the strawberries, go with the peaches.
- 4 slices French Bread 1/4" thick
- 6 ounces Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 lb Fresh Strawberries cored and sliced
- 4 tablespoons Butter softened
- Drain ricotta. Drape a cheese cloth over a strainer and put a bowl underneath to catch the moisture. Place the ricotta on top of the cheesecloth and let drain. Depending on the consistency of the ricotta, draining time will vary. The ricotta I used was fairly dry to begin with, so I only drained it for about five minutes. If your ricotta is very wet, you could speed up the process by blotting the cheese with paper towels.
- Slice french bread on a diagonal, about 1” thick.
- Place the sliced bread on top of a rack, in a sheet pan in the oven. I like to elevate it on a rack so the underside toasts up a bit as well. Brush the toast with butter. As it toasts, the butter will absorb into the bread, and create a crunchy platform to stand up to your topping. I like to keep a cube of butter at room temperature for moments like this. It takes comfort to another level… If your butter is rock solid in the refrigerator, you can put it in the microwave for ten seconds at a time to soften it.
- Put the toast under the broiler for about three to four minutes until it’s golden brown. Keep an eye on it. The broiler is no joke. I can’t count the things I’ve burned over the years thinking I had time to switch a load of laundry or feed the dogs.
- Spread a layer of the ricotta cheese on the toast.
- Arrange the sliced strawberries on top.
- Sprinkle with sugar and serve.