A Squared: Crostini with Honeycomb & Whipped Ricotta

Monday, January 19, 2015

Crostini with Honeycomb & Whipped Ricotta

Once upon a time, Alex and I headed down to Little Italy for Valentine's Day dinner. We went to D'avanti Enoteca where I had one of the best Italian meals I have ever eaten in the city-- and one of the most delicious appetizers I have ever tried. It was the kind of dish that was so simple, but so tasty that it alone would make me want to go back again. So instead of going back to D'avanti every time I'm craving it (which I would seriously love to do), I decided to recreate it at home and share the recipe with you today.


This crostini with honeycomb & whipped ricotta sounds exotic, but is actually a fairly simple appetizer to assemble. It only requires a few ingredients and some pretty minimal prep, but the results are delicious and sure to impress any guests at your next gathering. Whipping the ricotta with a mixer gives it this wonderfully light and fluffy texture perfect for spreading on a crispy toast. It's important to use full fat ricotta here to achieve the perfect flavor and texture combination here. Low fat and fat free ricotta varieties just don't have much flavor and when whipped, you won't find the soft fluffy texture you'll get with full fat-- just imagine trying to turn skim or 2% milk (versus heavy cream) into whipped cream. It's not happening.

The ingredient that really makes this dish shine is the honeycomb. If you've never tried real honeycomb, you're in for a treat. It's sweet and gooey from the honey, but with a chewy and crunchy almost candy-like texture that is unique to eating the honeycomb itself. And the sweetness and crunch is such a great match for the creamy whipped ricotta. Honeycomb may be tough to find at your local grocery store, but any specialty grocer or cheese shop will likely carry it.


This may be a bit fancy for a Superbowl party, but the fact that it's so easy to make-- in my opinion-- makes it ideal for any entertaining you're doing. I made it for our New Year's Eve celebration at my parents' cabin and my mom liked it so much that she made it to serve to a group of friends at a recent dinner party. And let's be honest, no matter what the occasion you can't beat toasty bread, creamy ricotta, and sweet honey. It's a winning combination!


Ingredients:

  • 1 french baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Olive oil
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 8 oz. raw honeycomb, like this one from Savannah Bee Company
  • Optional: Fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush both sides of each baguette slice lightly with olive oil and place is a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping the bread slices over once halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Add ricotta to a medium mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 4-5 minutes until ricotta is light and fluffy. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Top the ricotta with the honeycomb and drizzle any excess honey over the top. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Serve with a spreader and the toasted baguette slices.


2 comments:

  1. Davanti is my favorite restaurant in Chicago! I have not tried this dish though and it sounds amazing! I might have to make it at home although I've never bought honeycomb before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found honeycomb at a little specialty food store in northern Michigan. I bet Whooe Foods, Pastoral,or a farmers market would have it too.

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