Growing up, my Grandma told me “Fruit is Nature’s candy.” As an adult, I’ve come to learn she is absolutely correct.
I am always looking for ways to enhance the flavor of bare fruit by adding a few complimentary tweaks that will make their flavor sing.
Sugar-laden dishes are tasty and seem to be the norm; but, all of that powder hides the true beauty of the fruit itself.
This past week, I was planning to share Ina Garten’s Homemade Ricotta Recipe with my cooking class. I use it in my Tuscan Chicken Recipe and I knew we would have some leftover.
While I had never had ricotta and strawberry together, I figured there was never a better time to try it than the present! Just look at this beautiful harvest from Moss Family Farms in Hempstead, TX:
It seemed like a match made in heaven, so I started planning.
While a store-bought baguette would be delicious, I really wanted to take this dish to the next level by featuring as many local artisans as possible. I called my friends and collaborators at Bakers by Heart and they offered the perfect solution- a baguette of their Freshly Hand Milled Sun-dried Tomato Bread. (NOTE: This bread typically comes as a round.)
Let me tell you, the Bakers by Heart are nothing short of brilliant. Great people, using excellent ingredients and making a superior product.
While that sounds simple enough, some complexity goes into their products that set them apart from the rest. The Bakers hand-mill their wheat berries to make their own flour. They use the flour immediately, allowing the grain to maintain it’s nutritional integrity.
Additionally, they support local by using the eggs from our friends at 3 Sister Farms in Tomball, TX.
This not only results in delicious bread but, also, a nutritious alternative to store-bought.
This recipe is simple and flexible. It can be enjoyed as an appetizer, a dessert and as the base to finger sandwiches for an afternoon tea.
As a matter of fact, this dish pairs beautifully with Flourishing Fern’s Strawberry and Mint White Tea.
Isn’t it lovely?
Strawberry Ricotta Toast
This Strawberry Ricotta Toast take's advantage of the season's harvest, making a pleasant dessert, a fun appetizer or a delicious sandwich to serve with tea.
- 1 Pound Fresh Strawberries washed, hulled & sliced
- 1 TBSP Good Balsamic Vinegar, Red or White
- 2 TBSP Local, Raw Honey
- A few Turns Freshly Ground Pepper (or, a few dashes of pepper in a can!)
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Mint -OR- Basil Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese Homemade is BEST!!
- 1 Baguette Sliced & Toasted
- Sprinkle Cinnamon or Nutmeg (Optional)
Wash, Hull and Slice your strawberries, placing them in a bowl.
Add Balsamic Vinegar, Black Pepper and Honey. Allow to rest 15 minutes.
Slice baguette and lightly toast both sides.
*This can be done on a flat griddle, or, by putting in the oven on 375 degrees for 7 minutes on each side.
Stir fresh mint (or basil) into strawberry mixture.
Cool Baguette; then, thinly layer ricotta and top with fresh berry mixture.
Optionally, Sprinkle the top with Nutmeg or Cinnamon.