Indulging in food doesn’t always have to mean eating huge portions of something heavy and filling. Sometimes for me it’s more about having a nibble of something really special. So when I finished my tough work week this past Friday, I wanted to make a really fancy little snack to welcome in the weekend. I got a loaf of nice crusty French bread, some good ricotta, a really ripe and juicy peach, and I indulged.
These Peach and Ricotta Crostini combine crunchy French bread with creamy ricotta, sweet-tart peaches, and a hint of salt and pepper for contrast. The simple flavors play perfectly against one another and make for a really great food experience. Add a glass of chilled white wine and Friday night is set (I like to Liz-Lemon my Friday nights with a movie, wine, and snack – going out is for the young ones). If you’re hosting a party, there’s no appetizer faster, easier, or more impressive.
There are a few key factors that will make or break these little wonders:
- Good French bread – None of that soft fluffy stuff, please. Get a real baguette.
- Good Ricotta – Not all ricotta is created equal. They can range from tasteless and rough to sweet and smooth. Find a brand that tastes good enough to eat on its own.
- Ripe Fruit – If peaches aren’t in season at the moment, try plums, pears, apples, or nectarines.
- Freshly Cracked Pepper – Freshly cracked pepper tastes 100x better than that black flakey stuff in the shaker. Having a pepper grinder will change your cooking forever.
If you want to get fancy, you can also brush some good olive oil on the bread before toasting, use a specialty salt, or add a couple sliced almonds. I wasn’t trying to go too overboard, so I kept it simple… but in my mind the sky is the limit!
Peach Ricotta Crostini
- 2 ripe peaches $0.76
- 1 loaf French bread (baguette) $2.50
- 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese $2.49
- salt & freshly cracked pepper $0.10
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the baguette into 24 slices (about 1-3/4 inches thick) and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until they are slightly crusty.
- Meanwhile, use a small, sharp knife to slice the peaches into thin wedges (about 24 slices per peach).
- Once the bread has toasted slightly, remove them from the oven. Smear about 1 Tbsp (or a tad more) ricotta over each crostini. Arrange two peach slices on top of the ricotta and then sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Step by Step Photos
Make sure to get a good loaf of French bread. It should be crusty with a chewy interior and have nice big holes. Oh perfection! Anyway, slice it up into about 24 slices (you can easily make a half batch, too).
Toast the slices in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes, or just until they become a little crisp. If you want, you can brush a little olive oil over the surface before toasting.
Meanwhile, slice your peaches very thin. I sliced each half into 12 pieces.
Once the bread has toasted a little, spread a bit of ricotta over each slice. Now, whole milk ricotta is going to be the most delicious. I’ll give you a pass for part-skim, but fat free is NOT allowed. It will just not be good and it will hurt my feelings.
Add a small pinch of salt and a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper to each crostini. The little bit of salt makes the most wonderful contrast to the sweet peaches and the pepper gives a little-bitty-baby kick. It’s so perfect.
That pepper grinder right there – my secret weapon! And it’s inexpensive!
Mmm… juicy peach.