Whipped Ricotta, Feta & Honey with Olive Oil Toasted Crostini

Whipped Ricotta, Feta & Honey

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Lemon zest (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)

Add ricotta, feta, olive oil, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth and fully combined, about 2 minutes. Spoon the whipped ricotta into a serving bowl. Drizzle with honey, olive oil, top with a few thyme leaves, and lemon zest and/or pepper if using. Serve with toasted crostini.

Olive Oil Toasted Crostini

  • 1 medium loaf ciabatta or baguette
  • 7-8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush each slice with olive oil on both sides, placing each onto a large sheet pan. Place the sheet pan into the hot oven, toasting the crostini until golden brown on each side. This should take 8-10 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan as needed for even toasting.

Ricotta cheese has long been a cornerstone in the tapestry of Italian culinary history, with its origins deeply rooted in the traditions of ancient Rome. This cheese is known for its creamy texture and subtle flavor, which have made it an essential ingredient into many classic Italian dishes, be it savory or sweet. It is a key ingredient in lasagna and manicotti, but it can also be used in cheesecakes, cannoli, or simply spread on toast.

This easy recipe for Whipped Ricotta comes together in just minutes, can be made ahead of time, and served at room temperature. Making it a go-to appetizer for any event.

Recipe: Cindy Ramsey

Photo: Cindy Ramsey

Prosciutto & Melon Crostini

Prosciutto e Melone’

  • 8-12 pieces of ciabatta or baguette cut into ¼” slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces spreadable goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/2 cantaloupe melon, seeds removed
  • basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
  • balsamic glaze

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the ciabatta slices onto a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each slice with a small amount of olive oil. Place into the hot oven to toast until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, use a melon baller to scoop out the cantaloupe to form balls, or cut the melon into bite size pieces. Spread a small amount of goat cheese on top of the crostini. Place the melon on the goat cheese, draping a small piece of prosciutto over the melon. Garnish the prosciutto with a few ribbons of basil. Drizzle a bit of balsamic glaze over the crostini. Serve at room temperature.

Most palettes enjoy the satisfying combination of salty and sweet. ‘Prosciutto e Melone’ is a dish that strikes the perfect balance to satisfy that craving. The combination of prosciutto and melon is so popular that it has survived for centuries.

Historians state that the combination was first enjoyed in Roman times. However, the actual recipe seems to have been first documented in the 1890’s. Today we can still enjoy the refreshing combination in one delicious bite of cured ham and melon on toast. Our Carfagna’s recipe is written here for you to try in your own home.

Recipe: Cindy Ramsey

Photo: Cindy Ramsey

Winter Caprese Salad

  • 2 Large Tangerines or blood oranges, peeled and cut into 4 slices
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 4 slices
  • Fresh mozzarella, torn
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chopped fresh chives or basil

Directions

On a large plate, arrange tangerines/blood oranges and tomatoes with mozzarella.

Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle lightly with Balsamic glaze and generously with oil.

Sprinkle with chopped chives or basil and serve.

Recipe: Joyce Conway

Photo: Cindy Ramsey

The Winter Caprese Salad is a delightful variation of the classic Italian Caprese, uniquely tailored to capture the essence of the Amalfi Coast even during the colder months. This seasonal twist features ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and vibrant basil, but it adds a wintery touch with additions like citrus fruit and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The Amalfi Coast, renowned for its fresh produce and culinary finesse, inspires this adaptation by embracing the flavors of the season while staying true to the Mediterranean tradition. Each crisp bite of the Winter Caprese Salad transports you to the coastal paradise, where the charm of the Amalfi Coast is encapsulated in the combination of sun-kissed ingredients, offering a taste of winter infused with the coastal spirit.