Tag: cheese

Avocado Ricotta Crostini – Start Spreading the News

Michele and I were in Oakland recently, at a restaurant called Southie, when I saw something I’d never seen before; avocado and ricotta cheese paired together on a crostini. I didn’t order it, but was fascinated by the idea, and eventually it turned into what you see here.

By the way, everything we did have was great, so if you’re in the area, check them out. I don’t do a lot of shout-outs here, but that’ll make me feel a little better about stealing their appetizer. They actually did theirs with the cheese spread on first, and then sliced avocado placed over the top, but I decided to go for something a little easier to serve, and went with a spread instead.

I found this to be a very delicious combination that was sort of unusual, and yet familiar at the same time. I did roughly equal parts cheese and avocado, but of course you can play around with this ratio, depending on your mood. The same goes for the garnishes, where any number of fresh, or pickled seasonal vegetables would work wonderfully, as would a scattering of crispy bacon.

As you know, we’re heading straight into the heart of entertaining season, and no matter what you decorate yours with, these beauties would make for a great appetizer or snack, which is just one reason I really do hope you give these avocado ricotta crostini a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 6 appetizer-sized portions:
1 large ripe Hass avocado
3/4 cup ricotta cheese (or more or less depending on the ratio you want)
1/2 lemon, juiced (you could also add some of the zest)
1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh basil
salt and cayenne to taste
sliced cherry tomatoes and radishes to garnish
drizzle of olive oil
pinch of sea salt and freshly snipped chives for the top
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Minimal Monday: Summer Berry Muesli

Muesli is one of the original ‘health’ foods, invented by a Swiss doctor in 1900.  It falls somewhere between granola and oatmeal — it’s lighter than granola because it isn’t roasted with oil, and it’s served cold, which makes it perfect for summer,  If you’re in a hurry and you want healthy oats for breakfast, this is the way to go.

I went crazy for the berries at the farmer’s market yesterday.  They even had wild black raspberries, which are my favorite berry in the world.  I was dazzled by all the different varieties, and a line was starting to form behind me, so I settled on four…tiny strawberries, wild black raspberries, yellow and orange raspberries.  I had to leave behind the wild blueberries, blackberries, and red raspberries.

You can’t hesitate with fresh summer berries.  I once went berry picking in the heat of July, came home, set my stash on the counter, and before I could rinse and eat them they were covered in fuzz.  Ripe, just picked berries hover on the edge of rotteness.  That’s part of their charm.  Don’t think too much about it, just eat.

Summer Berry Muesli
serves 2
oven to 350F
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp pistachios
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
2 Tbsp hazelnuts
1/4 tsp cardamom (or cinnamon)
1 cup milk (plus more for serving)
1/2 grated apple
1 tsp lemon juice
assorted summer berries, rinsed
honey for serving (optional)

  • Spread out the oats and nuts on a baking sheet.  Toast for 10 minutes. 
  • Pour the milk on the oats and stir. 
  • Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to chill and let the oats absorb the milk.
  • Mix the grated apple with the lemon juice and mix into the cereal.
  • Serve topped with berries, and add more milk and a little honey if you like.

One year ago today—

Pasta with Walnut Sauce

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