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strawberry and ricotta crostini

The strawberries are popping up here in Charleston, SC! Farms are inviting people onto their farms to pick their own and the season's first farmer's markets have the strawberries proudly piled up. They have a specific sweetness that pairs well with creamy ricotta and a touch of Olinda olive oil. Apis Mercantile bourbon barrel aged honey is key. As a private chef in Charleston, SC, I bring that olive oil and honey to every party because I will use them often. Try my strawberry and ricotta crostini recipe, and please feel free to put your own twist on it. Maybe you want to add different herbs, citrus.....

1 cup thinly sliced strawberries

1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 1/2 teaspoon honey, plus more for drizzling

1/2 teaspoon white balsamic

Zest of 1 lemon

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1 cup ricotta, preferably homemade but store-bought will do in a pinch

Thinly sliced basil

20 toasted crostini (bread of your choice, I prefer baguette slices about 1/4 inch thick)

Gently fold together sliced strawberries, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon honey, white balsamic, zest of 1/2 a lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Combine ricotta with salt and pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon honey and remaining zest of 1/2 lemon.

Spread ricotta atop crostini. Top with strawberries then thinly sliced basil. Drizzle with olive oil and honey to finish, then serve.

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