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crostini with fresh ricotta and local peppers

Crostini are the perfect vehicle for flavor. A thinly sliced baguette brushed generously on both sides with Olinda olive oil serves as a solid foundation. It is important to add a sprinkle of salt when the crostini are hot so that the salt sticks to the oil before adding more toppings. In this recipe, I slather a layer of fresh ricotta with a hint of lemon before adding on roasted peppers. Crispy capers finish it all off! These crostini with fresh ricotta and local peppers will be a hit at your next party!

Feeds 12 guests

24 crostini (1-2 baguettes, sliced 1/4 inch thin on the diagonal)

Kosher salt

1 cup whole milk ricotta, homemade or store-bought

The zest of one lemon

Freshly cracked black pepper

4 bell peppers, seeded (or a mix of local sweet peppers such as Jimmy Nardello and madhatters)

1/4 cup capers, drained

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil to make clean up easier! One is for the crostini and one is for the peppers. Let's bake the crostini and peppers at the same time as long as you can keep a watchful eye on both of them. Brush each side of the crostini with olive oil. Place them on one of the baking sheets in a single layer. Take the seeds out of the peppers and thinly slice them. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the crostini and peppers for about 10 minutes (more or less depending of your oven). Remove the crostini, salt the first side, flip and bake the other side of the crostini for 5-7 more minutes. Salt the second side. Remove the crostini from the oven. Set aside. Keep baking the peppers if needed, until they are softened and even a little blistered. Let cool.

Once the peppers are cooled, puree until spreadable but still coarse. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Set aside a plate lined with a paper towel. Fry capers until crispy, shaking the pan occasionally. Drain capers on the paper towel lined plate.

Build the crostini with a layer of ricotta, then peppers, then fried capers. Drizzle with olive oil and serve hot or at room temperature.


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