Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fig, Ricotta, and Honey Crostini [Zack]

When I don't want to have a heavy dinner, I skip out on meat.  I especially try to avoid red meat if I get home from work late and need to eat a later diner.  Nobody likes to wake up in the morning and feel heavy.

This recipe is very simple and has a few interesting flavors that meld together to produce a crunchy addition to any meal.  The sweet figs and honey balance out with the rich ricotta and savory, garlicy bread.

Try this one with a fresh summer salad!


(honey not pictured)

Slice your bread into 1/4 inch (or 1 cm) slices.  Heat your oven to 350F / 175C.

Lay the slices on a baking tray and lightly brush them with olive oil.

Pop the tray into the oven and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, until it's brown and crispy.  Make sure to watch it - bread burns quickly!

While the bread is in the oven, mix your ricotta in a bowl with 3 of the sprigs of thyme leaves.  The leaves are easier to strip off of the stems if you run your fingers from the top and work down.  Add a pinch of salt and as much cracked black pepper as you like.

Slice your dried figs thinly.

When the bread comes out of the oven, let it cool until you can handle it, and then brush it with a peeled garlic clove.  The crunchy bread will grate the garlic and it will nicely fragrance the bread.

Spread the ricotta mixture over the bread, top with the slices of fig, and then drizzle honey on top.  Add the leaves from the last thyme sprig for some color.

Serve with something fresh - I chose a summer salad of radish, cilantro, avocado, and a lemon honey dressing.

(makes about 8 large crostini, or 16 baguette-slice sized)

1 loaf of hearty wheat bread
1 250g container of ricotta cheese (~1 cup)
7 dried figs, sliced longways
1 garlic clove
1 to 2T of olive oil
2 T of honey for drizzling on top
4 sprigs of fresh thyme

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