If forced to name my favorite time of the year for entertaining, I think I would pick summer. I think. Maybe.
And yes, this is another bruschetta recipe. Maybe you don’t know that I have a “thing” with crostinis and bruschetta. It’s one of the healthier addictions and crutches in my life, so no apologies. Also a thing for blending fresh herbs into things like goat cheese, and ricotta, and cream fraiche, and other creamy substances. Also not sorry about this. (“Everybody’s got a thing, but some people don’t know how to handle it.” – Stevie Wonder, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing).
Using Ciabatta for Bruschetta
Ciabatta is one of my favorite breads for making bruschetta. I just found out that ciabatta was invented in Italy in 1982 as a response to the popularity of the baguette. Seriously? Wow!
It’s a wide, somewhat flat loaf, usually with a dusting of flour on the crust, fairly airy inside, and if it’s made right, you can taste the olive oil. Its name translates to “slipper” and when you see the shape of it, that makes sense. Sometimes the crust is quite hard and crispy, sometimes it’s softer.
Ciabatta is used a lot for sandwiches and panini, in Italy, in the U.S., and in many other places. I love it for crostini. Yes, occasionally a slice with have a hole or two in it, sometimes a substantial one, but you can eat those slices.
Best Breads for Bruschetta
You can use whatever bread you like, though. The only thing is that you want it to let the flavors of the herbed ricotta and the fresh tomatoes shine. And you want the bread to be of some size, around 3 or 4 inches wide and tall, or even bigger if you want to go for voluptuous bruschetta. If you use small bread a) you can’t get those fat slices of tomatoes on top, and b) you are making crostini (which is fine!)
If you’ve got the grill going, or you have a gas grill that is easy enough to turn on and off, you can grill the bread instead of toasting it.
A simple herby ricotta is slathered under slices of ripe tomatoes in a perfect summer appetizer or snack.Tweet This
If you don’t have ripe tomatoes, don’t make this. The end. Heirloom tomatoes are extra nice, and mixing and matching tomatoes of different colors makes for a gorgeous presentation.
More Bruschetta Recipes:
- Swiss Chard, Leek and Feta Bruschetta
- Mushroom Bruschetta with Herbed Mayonnaise
- Salmon and White Bean Bruschetta
- Tomato Bruschetta
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Bruschetta with Herbed Whipped Ricotta and Heirloom Tomatoes
For the Bruschetta
- 1 loaf ciabatta about 8 ounces or other country white bread, sliced – pick a bread that is no taller or wider than 3 or 4-inches, or cut the slices in half
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or Garlic Oil approximately
- Kosher salt to taste
For the Ricotta and Tomato Topping
- 1 cup whole milk fresh ricotta
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chopped oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (heirloom are extra nice)
- Fresh oregano or small basil leaves to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the slices of bread with the olive oil or garlic oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for about 5 minutes until a touch golden around the edges, but not firm – they will firm up a bit as it cools. (You call also grill the toast). Transfer the bruschetta to a cooling rack or plate.
- While the bread is toasting, make the Ricotta and Tomato Topping. Place the ricotta, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a food processor and start processing. Add the olive oil in a slow stream and process until very creamy.
- Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch thick slices.
- Spoon a generous layer of whipped ricotta onto each bruschetta. Place a slice of tomato on each bruschetta and garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve quickly so the bread doesn’t get soggy.
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