Jul 272012

Nothing says summer to me like good tomatoes.  My mom grows the BEST tomatoes every summer and growing up I would eat them straight off the vine because they were that sweet.  Since I can’t be at home to enjoy them this year, I found a close second to mom’s…baby heirlooms at the farmers market.  I wanted to find a recipe that showcased the tomatoes without overpowering it and I found just that.  These Herbed Ricotta and Heirloom Tomato Crostini with Balsamic Reduction will be my new go to summer appetizer…and trust me, they will impress your guests.

There’s a little bit of prep work involved in making these, but once you make your 4 components (toasted or grilled bread, herbed ricotta, chopped tomatoes, and balsamic reduction) building the crostini’s are super easy.  I can’t even pinpoint what it was that made these so ridiculously good…maybe the garlic and herbs in the ricotta, maybe the freshness of the tomatoes, the sweetness of the balsamic, or even just how beautiful and colorful they looked.  Well whatever it was made these one of my favorite recipes I’ve made in a while and I highly recommend it!

Nutritional highlights:  By using thinly sliced multigrain baguette in this recipe, I add fiber and healthy whole grains.  Tomatoes are an amazing source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and you get the most of it when they’re in their peak season (aka, now).  Ricotta is naturally one of the lower fat cheeses out there–only 50 calories and 4 g of fat per ounce compared with 116 calories and 10 g of fat in cheddar cheese.  By adding lots of fresh herbs and garlic, a little goes a long way on these crostini.  Overall this appetizer is a healthy addition to your summer party and you will not regret making them!

Herbed Ricotta and Heirloom Tomato Crostini with Balsamic Reduction

adapted from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
Makes approximately 14 

Multigrain or whole wheat baguette, cut into 14 thin
1 C. Ricotta cheese
3 T. Chives, diced small
3 T. Basil, chiffonade 
2 T. Olive oil
2 Garlic cloves, minced 
Salt and pepper
1 C. Small heirloom tomatoes cut in half
½ C. Balsamic vinegar

Brush or spary each slice of baguette with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake, broil, or grill until golden brown. Let cool.

In a bowl add the ricotta, chives, basil, olive oil and garlic and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and taste for additional seasonings.  Cut your tomatoes, place in another bowl, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

In a small sauté pan add the balsamic vinegar and heat over medium high heat. Reduce the mixture for about 10 minutes.  Be sure to watch carefully. You will want it to resemble a syrup consistency. Let cool. 

To assemble, add about one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture to the top of the toasted baguette slices. Top with about 5 to 6 of the tomato halves. Drizzle with a bit of the reduced balsamic and garnish with additional basil if you’d like. Serve and enjoy!

  One Response to “Herbed Ricotta and Heirloom Tomato Crostini”

  1. This is right up my alley, looks amazing!!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>