Crostini with whipped ricotta and a sweet topping of honey, or savory marinated cherry tomatoes (photo © Belfiore Cheese Company).
 Fresh ricotta before it’s whipped (photo © DeLaurenti Food & Wine).
 When ricotta is whipped, it looks like this. Here, it’s garnished with maple syrup and Calabrian chiles and served with grilled sourdough bread. Here’s the recipe(photo © Pure Maple From Canada)
 As a first course, whipped ricotta is topped with dried cherries, raisins, and chopped pistachios. It can be served as an appetizer with wine, or as a first course (photo © Union Square Cafe).
 Instead of semihard cheeses, whipped ricotta is a natural on crackers and toasts with wine. Here, seasoned whipped ricotta is served with honeycomb (photo © Davanti Enoteca | Chicago).
 For dessert: grilled peaches, whipped ricotta, and a drizzle of honey. Here’s the recipe (photo © Good Eggs).
Give the toast or the bagel a rest, and try these savory or sweet whipped ricotta crostini recipe. Top crostini (which are, actually, toasted bread) with creamy, spreadable ricotta and your choice of marinated tomatoes or honey—or one of each.
Crostini is the Italian name for croutons. These are not the small cubes served on American salads. Rather, they are pieces of toast like a sliced, toasted baguette or a similar Italian loaf.They don’t have to be from a round or oval loaf like a baguette.
Many Americans confuse crostini with bruschetta. Bruschetta is the same slice of bread that is grilled rather than toasted.
If you have a grill and want to grill the bread instead of toasting it, that’s A-OK.
Tip: Make a double batch and use the marinated cherry tomatoes as:
A topping for avocado toast or on a bagel and cream cheese (or whipped ricotta).
As a salad topping and dressing.
As a garnish for grilled fish, poultry, and meat.
As a dip for crudites.
On flatbread or pizza.
Mixed into Greek yogurt or atop cottage cheese or other fresh cheese.
1 cup whole milk ricotta (the best is freshly made from an Italian provisioner)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
For honey-topped crostini: 1/2 teaspon minced mint
For tomato-topped crostini: pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional garnish: balsamic glaze
> Also Check Out Mix & Match Crostini For Breakfast & Lunch
RECIPE #1: WHIPPED RICOTTA
Ingredients For The Ricotta
1. PLACE the ricotta in a small mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer with beaters or the whisk attachment, blend for 2 minutes until the ricotta is creamy smooth and creamy (tiny lumps are O.K.).
RECIPE #2: MARINATED CHERRY TOMATOES
If you want the honey topping, simply spoon or drizzle honey from the jar atop the ricotta and crostini.
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, washed, patted dry, quartered
1/4 red onion, sliced very thin and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped-or-1 tablespoon fresh mint, 1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoonred wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 clove garlic smashed and minced into a paste
Generous pinch of sea salt, or to taste to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the marinated cherry tomatoes:
1. ADD the first five ingredients to a bowl; stir gently to combine.
2. ADD the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix to coat the tomatoes and allow the flavors to meld at room temperature for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. STORE leftovers in the fridge for a few days.
RECIPE #3: CROSTINI
You can use any type of bread. Baguette is popular for the size of the slices, but we often use quartered rounds of pita and halved or quartered slices of crusty French country bread.
1 baguette or other loaf sliced
Salt and pepper as desired
Optional: garlic cloves or chiles
For optional infused olive oil:
Before brushing the crostini with olive oil, you can first infuse the olive oil with garlic or chiles if you desire.
1 cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed, or 2 small dried chiles.
Cook in a small saucepan over very low heat for 5 minutes (a thermometer should register 180°F. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Place the baguette or other bread slices on a baking sheet and lightly brush or drizzle with olive oil (you don’t have to coat the entire surface). Flip them and brush the other side.
2. SPRINKLE with salt and pepper and toast for 5-7 minutes, turning halfway through. Bake until golden; be sure that they don’t burn.
3. REMOVE from the oven and rest.
For the bruschetta:
1. BRUSH the olive oil on each side of the baguette slices. Place on a grill pan and grill over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, until toasted.
2. SEASON with salt and pepper and rest.
1. SPREAD the toasted bread with the whipped ricotta. Top with either honey or drained, marinated tomatoes. Drizzle balsamic glaze over crostini with tomatoes.