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Creamy, soft and delicately flavoured, ricotta is the latest go-with-everything toast topping that the internet is obsessed with…
We never thought we’d say it, but avocado has got competition. On our mental leader board of brunch-able toast toppings, whipped feta, smashed peas and fancy hummus are all creeping up the ranks. But the true rising star of 2021? Ricotta. Just like the baked feta pasta that came before it, ricotta toast has TikTok to thank for its rise to fame. As soon as the platform’s food-fluencers discovered its creamy deliciousness earlier this year, a recipe tsunami began and the ricotta boom was born.
PSA: We should also note that Lizzo is a fan. She prepared a dairy-free version of the dish, complete with rocket and blistered tomatoes, on TikTok last month and, as with most other trends that Lizzo ratifies, her approval is more than enough pique our interest.
Similar to avocado in that it’s soft, creamy and neutral enough to pair with big flavours, the Italian cheese is the ideal versatile toast topping. Feel like giving it a go, but don’t fancy following a lightning-speed TikTok run-through? Below you’ll find three chef-approved recipes using an array of tasty extras…
If you live for DIY brunches, you’ll want to add the ricotta bruschetta platter to your roster. Lemon zest, chilli flakes and mint leaves give the ricotta a hit of zingy flavour, while griddled sourdough makes the perfect crispy accompaniment, allowing brunch guests to scoop their own at the table.
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For a satisfying on-toast mixture that you could legitimately eat for lunch, make Geraldine Georgeou’s aubergine and olive bruschetta. Cubes of aubergine are oven roasted until they’re silky, then tossed with rich olive tapenade and piled onto toast along with creamy ricotta and soft boiled eggs.
Finally, if a cheese platter with grapes and nuts is your idea of heaven, you need to try Emily Kydd’s fruity take on ricotta toast. She roasts black grapes with balsamic vinegar until the mixture is deep and syrupy, then makes a walnut/caramel mix. Sprinkling the duo over cool ricotta is the only next step we’re interested in. Now all we need to do is hunt down a fancy sourdough to serve it on…
Ricotta, mint, chilli and lemon with griddled sourdough toasts
“A sharing bruschetta platter of sourdough toasts and ricotta, with herbs for freshness and chilli for a little kick – so quick to create and great for an impromptu get-together.”
- 4 slices of sourdough bread
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100g ricotta cheese
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 lemon
- 20 mint leaves, torn
- flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
You will need:
- ridged grill/stovetop pan
Drizzle each slice of bread with the olive oil and griddle it on the ridged grill/stovetop pan until lightly charred.
Put the ricotta in a small serving bowl and top with the dried chilli flakes and grated zest of half the lemon.
Serve the toasts and ricotta on a platter with the mint leaves, lemon wedges and salt and pepper on the side. Encourage people to make their own bruschettas by loading up the sourdough toasts with ricotta, chilli, mint and lemon juice, and plenty of salt and pepper.
From On Toast by Ryland Peters & Small (£9.99, Ryland Peters & Small), out 14 September
Ricotta, aubergine and olive bruschetta with soft-boiled eggs
Geraldine Georgeou says: “Gone are the days when bruschetta was just the prelude to a main meal – this recipe puts it centre stage. The options for delicious toppings are endless. Forget soggy tomato bread: here is low-GI, nutritionally complete lusciousness. And the best part is that it’s so simple, anyone can make this impressive weekend brunch.”
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
- 1 large aubergine, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp olive tapenade
- 4 large eggs
- 4 slices rye sourdough or gluten-free wholegrain bread, toasted
- 250g reduced-fat ricotta cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the aubergine on the tray, season with salt and pepper and brush with oil. Bake for 30 minutes until tender, then transfer to a bowl and toss with olive tapenade while the aubergine is still warm.
Meanwhile, put the eggs in a small saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. When the water has boiled, remove from the heat and leave the eggs in the water for 2 minutes. Then run them under cold water and allow to cool slightly before peeling.
Spread ricotta cheese over each slice of toasted sourdough, spoon on the aubergine tapenade and top with a soft-boiled egg.
From Healthy Skin Diet by Geraldine Georgeou (£14.99, Murdoch Books), out now
Walnut brittle, roasted grapes and ricotta
Emily Kydd says: “Roasting grapes dries them to a fudgy texture and concentrates their sweetness. Make plenty of the walnut brittle as you’ll be helping yourself to it from the jar for days to come.”
Takes: 25 minutes
- 225g black grapes
- 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 50g walnuts
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tbsp honey
- 1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 250g good-quality ricotta
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 180°C fan/gas 6. Toss the grapes with 2 tsp of the oil, the balsamic vinegar and some seasoning. Transfer to a tray lined with baking parchment and roast for 15 –20 minutes, until sticky and syrupy. Leave to cool a little.
Meanwhile toast the walnuts in a hot frying pan until golden. Stir in 1 tsp of the oil, the sugar, honey, rosemary leaves and a good few pinches of salt. Let it bubble gently for about 3 minutes, until the sugar has caramelised. Tip onto a tray and leave to cool completely.
Place the ricotta into a small bowl and beat well. Add a good few pinches of salt and pepper and the remaining oil and continue to beat until smooth but spreadable.
Toast the bread and leave to cool briefly, then spread with the ricotta. Top with the grapes and their sticky juices. Chop or bash the walnut brittle into smaller pieces and scatter over the toast.
From Posh Toast by Emily Kydd (£12.99, Quadrille), out now
Photography: Isobel Wield © Ryland Peters & Small; © Chris Chen; © Louise Hagger