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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chew on This | Roasted Strawberry and Ricotta Crostini

If you know me, even just a bit, you know that I have a cordial relationship with vegetables. Over the years I've come to appreciate many of them, but we're certainly not going to be besties anytime soon (I'm talking to you, eggplant). 

I have found that my interest in vegetables increases exponentially when I roast them, because certainly I'm not going to chow down on a fresh, ripe tomato from my garden. No. Way. But I will make, and eat, pounds of salsa made from my gorgeous roasted tomatoes. And not only that, I'll roast more tomatoes and make them into the best, velvety Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. Seriously, tomato soup! I wouldn't have been caught dead eating tomato soup ten years ago. Ahh, acting like a grown up and eating my vegetables is sooooo mature.

Anyway, after these few years of roasting vegetables into the 'hey, I kind of like you' phase, I decided to roast some fruit into the 'hey, I might be obsessed with you' phase. No biggie, roasted strawberries and I are in love.


Here's our recipe:

Roasting fruit (strawberries, for this example) into amazing caramel-y softness will floor you. Your tastebuds will awaken from a deep sleep and thank you. Try this strawberry crostini version first - but then maybe go for roasted peaches, blackberries, or plums. Yum!

Roasted Strawberry and Ricotta Crostini

1 French baguette, sliced in 1/2" pieces
1/2 - 3/4 C ricotta
roasted strawberries
2 T fresh basil or mint, chopped (I used basil)

First, start off by roasting your strawberries. You could do this several days ahead to save some time. After roasting, just refrigerate the berries until you plan to use them. Heat them up (in the microwave, if you'd like) before placing on the crostini, or serve them cold. Goodness either way. Here's how to make your roasted strawberries:

Roasted Strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced in half
2 T honey
2 pinches of salt

For the Roasted Strawberries, preheat your oven to 350℉ and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place your prepared strawberries into a bowl and toss with your 2 T of honey and pinch of salt. Scatter your strawberries onto your prepared cookie sheet in one even layer. Place the cookie sheet into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until strawberries are soft and beginning to release some juice. Remove from oven and set aside for use on your crostini.

Assemble your crostini:
To make your crostini, take your sliced baguette pieces and lightly coat with some oil. Either toast them on a grill pan until just browned, or place baguette pieces onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 375℉ oven until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Once all the components are ready, it's time to assemble. Start with your baguette slice, top with a healthy swipe of creamy ricotta. Next, pile on some delicious roasted strawberries and sprinkle with lots of fresh basil or mint. Eat and enjoy!

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