Enjoy summer fruits and the goodness bestowed by Mother Nature and assemble Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches And Prosciutto.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Anything that is fresh and local and includes a combination of slightly sweet and slightly savory is a good topping for crostini.
This method for Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches And Prosciutto combines a lightly sweetened cheese that is whipped similar to cream cheese. It's then paired with a sweet peach slice and a savory/salty slice of prosciutto. The addition of a fresh sage leaf or two is an immediate 'earthy' pop of flavor.
This assembly of fresh foods is a jaw-dropping canape at parties. It's also entirely casual enough to pack up in your cooler or picnic basket for the beach or the lawn for fireworks.
Life is commencing once again. The reluctant are slowly being drawn from this past years long silent slumber to bright days ahead. As we reacquaint with family and friends we have not seen in months and months, food is still at the center of almost every celebration of life. Today's ricotta crostini with peaches and prosciutto is part of my celebration.
I am offering today, a summer appetizer ready in mere minutes. If you plan to attend a parade or fireworks and will take a picnic along, consider this healthy and fresh Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches and Prosciutto. The sum of all its parts pack separately and travel well. Assembly is a cinch and kids seem to really enjoy this, too.
Do not miss any opportunity to benefit from summer fruits and vegetables and all of the goodness they've borrowed from Mother Nature and the sun. July will soon turn to August and we will be speculating about pumpkins rather than peaches - go slow! ENJOY!!!
Do You Have What's Needed To Make Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches and Prosciutto? Check The List!
for the creamy whipped ricotta
fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
thick country bread
extra virgin olive oil
flakey sea salt
ground black pepper
for the peach and prosciutto topping
thinly sliced duck or pork prosciutto
young sage leaves
additional honey for drizzling
fresh lemon zest
pea shoots if not too late in the season for your growing zone
How This Recipe Came About…
I have had a method for Whipped Ricotta on the site for a few years now. I receive questions from time to time with readers asking "Is this it? Is this all you do and then eat it?"
The answer is…well, was…yes. And really, fresh Whipped Ricotta drizzled with a quality olive oil, dusted with smoked salt, and served with charred bread is a meal for me. That, and a glass of some well-chilled summer table white wine and I'm set.
But summer peaches have arrived and they're here in all shapes and forms, from Dixie Reds to Belle Of Georgia's, the peaches are flooding local backyards and farm markets for all to enjoy.
But if you want to do more than just eat a peach, allow me to kill two birds with one stone(fruit!) hahaha (fruit humor!) here…a canape or simple crostini. With peaches. And honey. And prosciutto and sage!
If I have learned from anyone, I've learned from chef and television personality Vivian Howard. Eat locally-sourced food as often as possible. Support local farmers and purveyors. Keep the food you eat and share simple.
Field to table, ESPECIALLY during the summer season, is a good time to evaluate some of those recipes that knock around without purpose. Today, and for all of you who do not quite "get" the Whipped Ricotta as a stand alone appetizer, I am offering up yet another handful of ingredients to add to your weekly farmers market trip!
What Exactly Is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese is a whey cheese, the liquid that is left behind after separating the milk used to make a cheese into two distinct parts, the solids or curds, and the liquids or whey. Cheesemakers make whatever cheese they want to make with the curds, and then repurpose the leftover whey to create ricotta.
In the US, we tend to grab for the container of ricotta from our grocers cold case when we throw together a lasagna. You may have even enjoyed a great pizza pie with a white base. That was very likely ricotta. But what else is there to actually do with this stuff?
For me, ricotta cheese took the place of cream cheese 20 years ago. Nearly everywhere I use cream cheese, I can use ricotta. Whipped plain or with honey to flavor it, it makes a mean addition to a finished pasta dish, a phenom dip when creamed together with fresh herbs from the garden, and an exquisite dessert base for poached and grilled fruits. For those of us originally from the northeast, it's difficult to accept a slice of cheesecake that isn't a New York-style baked ricotta cheesecake.
How To Make Whipped Ricotta?
Have a plan. Know how you intend to serve whipped ricotta before you get started. Then, look for a high-quality brand of whole-milk ricotta, without stabilizers if possible.
It is possible to whip part-skim milk ricotta, but it won’t be nearly as rich and will miss the 'creamy' mark altogether. I use a good brand of ricotta or simply make my own, which is also surprisingly easy, but that's a lesson for another day.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
Getting back to the recipe at hand for Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches and Prosciutto…this canape can go in one hundred different directions based on what you're up for, have available to you locally, and depending on how creative you feel.
To make it not entirely average, consider changing these up using a combination of plums and fresh tarragon. Apricots and one of my favorite fresh herbs, chervil, are outstanding with honey whipped ricotta. Pears or pitted, halved cherries with mint are also a beautiful pairing. You could even grill the peaches for a slightly warm-ish bite making this more of a caramelized peach toast.
Now I am using raw honey to sweeten the ricotta as well as a golden garnish just before serving. Whipped honey ricotta is superior on toasted baguette, bagels, and screams loudly for a sprinkling of homemade granola and seasonal berries. Genuine maple syrup is a bright and most delicious sweetener as well.
What To Serve With Ricotta Crostini With Peaches and Prosciutto?
To me, these two-bite gems are the star of the mezze platter. Because it's summertime, and because this is an outdoor gathering I plan to serve at, I serve alongside easy but filling starters like Beef Carpaccio, Southern Pecan Cheddar Wafers, a huge batch of Zucchini Fritters, and a variety of Deviled Eggs.
What To Drink With Ricotta Crostini With Peaches and Prosciutto?
Any well-chilled dry white such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc are perfect. I also recommend a sparkling or still Rose, either straight or as a spritz.
And there is nothing like having a beer to pair with an expertly assembled appetizer such as this. Consider a Belgian witbier here, a low-ABV (alcohol by volume) beer brewed with wheat. The subtle citrus and fruit character of a witbier would complement the fresh peaches nicely, and the fluffy texture of the wheat would elevate the delicate flavor of the prosciutto.
Can Ricotta Crostini With Peaches and Prosciutto Be Made Ahead?
Yes, and this is why I make a point of packing all of the parts separately and assembling on-site at say the beach or a parade or with wine at fireworks.
The bread you select here is key. Of course buy something you enjoy, but look for a Boule or whole loaf so slices may be made thicker. Pre-sliced bread tends to run too thin for the purposes of this appetizer because the ricotta and peaches are heavy.
- Cut 1 inch thick slices of the bread. I have also served it with 2 inch slices to applause when it was REALLY GOOD BREAD.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Brush both sides of the bread LIGHTLY with olive oil.
- Add a grind or two of black pepper, a pinch of flakey sea salt, and head outside to your grill.
- Use the top rack to grill and slightly char the bread on both sides before removing with tongs to the baking sheet to cool.
- Once cooled completely, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and leave on the counter until ready to serve.
The ricotta cheese may be whipped up to two days in advance. Spoon into an airtight container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.
After par-boiling and peeling the peaches, slice them and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice. The may be done the day before serving, but are best skinned and sliced the day of serving.
Prosciutto comes in a flat package with plastic sheets in between each paper thin slice. If you settle on a nice quality duck prosciutto, have your butcher slice it thin and ask for paper to separate the layers of slices.
As for the honey and the sage…if you have a honey bear, you're only going to need to pack it as is. Otherwise, garner a squeeze bottle. Use this to transport and dispense the honey drizzle. The sage leaves should be picked the day of serving for freshness and tossed into a tiny container with a lid. If you cannot find sage, fresh basil leaves work beautifully as well.
How To Serve Ricotta Crostini With Peaches and Prosciutto?
Spoon the honey whipped ricotta cheese onto the grilled bread slices. Use the back of the spoon to smear it from side to side and make a 'nest' for the peach. Arrange a peach slice, followed by a sage leaf or two, then follow with the prosciutto in a ribbon like fashion. Drizzle very, very lightly with honey allowing the streams to pool around the edges of the bread. Serve immediately. Eat and be in love with fresh food again.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
Smoked Gouda & Ricotta Fritters
Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
- food processor
Ingredients for Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches And Prosciutto
- 1 batch whipped ricotta see my recipe for whipped ricotta here
- 3 tablespoons honey
for the grilled bread
- 12 1-inch thick slices crusty country-style bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch flakey sea salt
- pinch black pepper freshly ground
for the peach and prosciutto topping
- 2 fresh peaches par-boiled and shocked, skins removed and sliced thin
- 12 small to medium sized sage leaves fresh
- 2 ounces prosciutto may be pork or duck, thinly sliced
for the grilled bread
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet. Begin by brushing each slice of bread very lightly with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle one side with a pinch of flakey sea salt and a grind of black pepper.
- Using the top rack of a medium hot gas grill, arrange the bread slices and toast. Allow the bread to char slightly and turn to char the opposite side. Remove the bread using tongs to the baking sheet to cool. Continue until all of the bread is grilled.
whip the ricotta
- Prepare 1 batch of whipped ricotta using my recipe found here. Add the honey directly to the food processor with the other ingredients and pulse several times to cream the ingredients and incorporate all very well.
assemble and serve
- Spoon the honey whipped ricotta cheese onto the grilled bread slices. Use the back of the spoon to smear it from side to side and make a 'nest' for the peach.
- Arrange a peach slice, followed by a sage leaf or two, then follow with the prosciutto in a ribbon like fashion. Drizzle very, very lightly with honey allowing the streams to pool around the edges of the bread. Serve immediately.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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