It snowed, rained and hailed this week….so that must mean we made it through our first week of spring! We’re yearning for something other than this hearty cold weather food! So let’s jump off with some light and fresh flavors! Ricotta, honey, and fresh basil.
As you’ve probably noticed we are crazy about honey around here. And you’re probably thinking, well honey is honey, right??? Well yes and no. Honey has unique flavors based on what the bees that produced the honey have fed on. At Mint + Basil you will find a wide variety of honey from Tupelo, Orange Blossom, to Acacia, and many more. But today we’re breaking through honey stereotypes with Tupelo honey.
Tupelo honey is sweeter than most other honey, but with a mild, balanced flavor. It is the gold standard by which all other honey varieties are measured. For two weeks every spring, White (Ogeche) Tupelo Trees in the Southeastern swamps bloom with sunburst-shaped flowers glistening with nectar…so basically, we’re telling you Tupelo honey can only be harvested two weeks out of the year, so that means it better be extraordinary!
Although honey is not the only star in this recipe, it helps to breakdown the somewhat grainy ricotta, into a smoother and lightly sweeter texture and flavor. Whisking the ricotta, honey, and lemon together helps to break down the granules left behind in the ricotta. If you really dislike the grainy texture you can always let your ricotta rest in a sieve and colander overnight in the fridge to help firm it up.
This recipe makes such a great appetizer for your next cocktail party or before dinner. It literally comes together in less than 15 minutes, making it the perfect… “honey my parents are coming for drinks do we have anything to go with that…oh shoot I forgot to tell you” appetizer! We’ve all been there, haven’t we? The thick fresh cut baguette, aroma of fresh basil and lemon juice, and the sweetness of the honeyed ricotta are surely going to make them think you thoughtfully planned out this delightful dish. As far as the bread goes, a crusty French baguette toasts up perfectly, but Italian bread works well too. There really isn’t a bread we won’t let into our inner carb circle…we think this philosophy goes for wine as well!
First, mix your ricotta, honey, and lemon juice together. Be sure to whisk this well to break up those granules in the ricotta. Let that rest a few minutes. If you don’t like the grainy texture, strain your ricotta the night before or at least several hours before you start mixing it, to firm and smooth the ricotta. Chiffonade your basil by rolling several leaves up together and then cutting thin diagonal slices. Is there anything better than the aroma of fresh cut basil? Next you’ll want to slice your baguette. You can slice this any size you like. We like thick cut pieces at a diagonal…it tends to hold more of the good stuff!
Lay your baguette slices onto a sheet pan and load them up with a big dollop of your ricotta mixture. This will be going under the broiler, so just be sure you don’t pile your ricotta too high as it may start to burn. Place your sheet pan in the oven and put the broiler on high. We prefer to keep our rack two notches below the broiler, as this makes it less likely to burn your bread if you accidently walk away from the oven for a minute to long…cough cough…pours glass of wine and visits…cough cough! This isn’t a marathon, it literally takes less than five minutes to broil so you are not on a big-time constraint here if you don’t place your rack at the very top. Broil on high until the bread is nice and crisp, the ricotta is heated through, and you can’t stand to wait any longer. Remove the pan from the oven and arrange your baguettes on a serving platter. Sprinkle the basil over each baguette and drizzle with a little bit more of that magnificent Tupelo honey. Now hurry up and sneak one or two for yourself, because once you serve these to your guests they won’t last long!
MINT + BASIL FRESH FINDS:
Savannah Bee Company Tupelo Honey
Marble & Gold Cheese Plate
Wooden mini spoon
Wooden honey dipper
Copper spread knife
Urban Agriculture Basil Grow Kit
Urban Cheesecraft Ricotta Kit
MADE WITH LOVE FROM:
Kitchen Savant + Recipe Curator
Master of Documentation
Editor + Photography
Editor + Photography
Ricotta Bruschetta with Honey & Lemon Recipe:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes
1 ½ C Whole Ricotta
¼ C Tupelo Honey + extra for drizzling
1 French Baguette
½ Lemon juiced
- Juice your lemon into a medium sized bowl. Mix in the ricotta and honey. Whisk until ricotta is smooth and ingredients are combined.
- Chiffonade basil leaves. Roll a small bunch of basil leaves together and cut thin slices at a diagonal angle.
- Slice your baguette on a diagonal, ½ – 1inch thick. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet.
- Place a heaping spoonful of your ricotta mixture onto each slice of baguette, take care to make sure all of your filling stays on top of the slices.
- Place your pan in the oven and broil on high for 3-5 minutes, checking often to make sure your bread is not burning. Remove your pan from the oven when your bread is nice and crisp and the ricotta is heated through.
- Transfer baguette slices to a serving platter and top with basil chiffonade and an extra drizzle of honey.