Tomato, Ricotta and Balsamic Glaze Crostini

Bruschetta with ricotta and balsamic glaze

Holiday Blues

As the winter holidays come to an end, I continue to have cravings for finger foods. Shrimp cocktail, cheeseboards, spring rolls and samosas are always abundant in my holiday ‘diet’ and I love every single minute of it. When all is said and done, I look for something more refreshing and healthy but still gives the feeling that I’m at a party and listening to “baby, it’s cold outside”.

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Enter tomato, ricotta and balsamic glaze crostini! I use to make a more simplified version when I was in University and needed to bring something to potluck parties. In those days, I omitted any cheese or fancy sauces and stuck to just tomato, basil and onion. I was on a student budget so I only had so much money to spare!

I’ve evolved my recipe to include ricotta instead of the traditional bocconcini because it adds a nice base for the tomatoes to ‘sit’ on, and helps prevent them from falling everywhere. Also, the balsamic glaze adds a sweet and sour note which helps balance out the creaminess of the ricotta.

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Hopefully this recipe can kick away your holiday blues, making you feel better about the winter storm happening outside your door.

Lisa xo.


TIPS

  • Balsamic glaze recipe will make 1/2 cup which will be more than enough. You can save the remaining amount and serve with grilled vegetables for another dinner!
  • Try to stick to grape or cherry tomatoes. They add more texture and large tomatoes have more liquid which is not ideal for making crostini.
  • No need to add olive oil when toasting the bread. The ricotta will act as a barrier and prevent the toast from getting soggy from tomato juices.
  • WARNING: Making the glaze will produce quite a bit of fumes in the kitchen. If you’re in a time crunch, mix together 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp honey with a drizzle of olive oil. Try to make the glaze if you can though!

Tomato, Ricotta and Balsamic Glaze Crostini

Makes 15-17 crostini

Ingredients
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 shallot
1 garlic
5 large basil leaves (makes up 1 tbsp once chopped)
salt and pepper
olive oil for drizzling
1/2 french baguette
3/4 cup ricotta
pea shoots for garnish

For the glaze (makes 1/2 cup)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions
Glaze: Combine the balsamic vinegar with brown sugar in a sauce pan and cook on medium for about 15 mins. Turn off the heat when it begins to just stick to back of a spoon. It will thicken as it cools to the right consistency.

Topping mixture: Mince the garlic, shallots, and chop the grape tomatoes into quarters. Roll up basil leaves and slice into thin strips first, then finely chop afterwards. Combine the tomatoes, shallots and garlic into a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and mix well.

Assemble and serve: Cut the baguette into 1/2 inch thick slices and toast until golden. Spread on ricotta, top with topping mixture, drizzle with glaze and finish with pea shoots on top. Time to eat!

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Step-by-Step

1.  To make the glaze, combine the balsamic vinegar with brown sugar in a sauce pan and cook on medium for about 15 mins. Turn off the heat when it begins to just stick to back of a spoon. Don’t worry, it will thicken as it cools to the right consistency.

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Glaze should look like this after it’s cooled

2. Mince the garlic, shallots, and chop the grape tomatoes into quarters. Roll up basil leaves and slice into thin strips first, then finely chop afterwards.

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3. Combine the tomatoes, shallots and garlic into a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and mix well.

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4. Cut the baguette into 1/2 inch thick slices and toast until golden.

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5. Assemble into rows. Spread on ricotta, top with tomato mixture, and drizzle with glaze.

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6. Top off with pea shoots. Now it’s time to eat!

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One thought on “Tomato, Ricotta and Balsamic Glaze Crostini

  1. These have a beautiful presentation and taste delicious! I made them last night and they were devoured received with rave reviews! Thank you for the recipe – I will definitely be making these again!

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