Crostini with Lemon Herb Ricotta and Heirloom Tomato Salad

I was incredibly proud of this appetizer I made for Easter. It is SO light, full of flavor and the PERFECT bite for spring. Everyone loved it. I will definitely make this again, many times!


What you need:

1  thin loaf of Italian bread (or your favorite kind)
1 16oz tub of Ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Dried herbs - all your favorites
Garlic powder
About 1.5 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes (or your favorite kind)
A few sprigs of fresh basil, chopped
Balsamic Glaze
Olive Oil
Two cloves garlic, chopped.

First, add the garlic to a couple tablespoons of olive oil and set aside.

Next, mix the lemon zest, herbs and salt to taste into the Ricotta cheese with about a teaspoon of garlic powder. I used dried parsley, mint, oregano, marjoram, thyme and basil. Set this mixture in the fridge to chill.

Then, slice your bread into about 3/4-1 inch slices. Brush olive oil mixture on both sides of the bread, leaving most of the garlic in the bowl. Place on a hot grill for a minute or two on each side, just long enough to crisp the bread and get a couple grill marks. This lends a smoky heartiness to an otherwise very light dish.

While your bread is cooling, mix the chopped tomatoes with the chopped basil, a dash of salt, and the rest of the garlic left over in olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons or so of the balsamic glaze. Balsamic glaze is easy to find, but if you can't find it, you can make your own very easily. Just simmer a cup of balsamic vinegar until it reduces by half and thickens, then let cool. Toss your tomato salad, and now you are ready to assemble!

I smeared a spoonful of ricotta on each slice of bread then topped with a heap of the tomato salad, a little extra balsamic and garnish of basil. Lay out on your prettiest serving tray and don't forget the chilled wine. Enjoy!

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