That picture might be true perfection. Golden grilled sourdough bread, creamy whipped ricotta, tart berries, and a drizzle of honey?? Sign me up!
Given that I’ve been almost entirely avoiding bread for the better part of nine months for some health reasons (issues with processing carbs) and the fact that I’m not really a bread person to begin with, I’m honestly not sure why this idea took hold in my brain so much.
But I started seeing different versions of ricotta toast, avocado toast, crostini, and more all over food blogs I follow and I was just like…YESSSSS. So my sister snagged me a loaf of quite good, thinly-sliced sourdough bread from the store and I played around with it.
So what I’m bringing you here today is less true recipe and more technique + toppings. It’s so versatile, and can be customized to your whims…what’s in season, sweet or savory, what happens to be in your fridge at this very moment…you get the picture.
So let’s talk about the grilled bread itself, because it is KEY. When my sis brought me the thinly-sliced sourdough, at first I was bummed because I’d been picturing thick slices of like baguette or something. But boy was I wrong!
First, sourdough provides awesome flavor and texture here, and I recommend it. And the thin slices ended up being perfect, because you could get them good and crisp all around without burning them, and they were SO MUCH EASIER to bite into.
No more destroying your mouth with thick slices that are impossible to bite. Plus the ratio of bread to toppings is perfect.
And it couldn’t be easier. I simply preheated my grill to like 400 or 450 F (hot, but not crazy hot). I put the pieces of bread on a plate and using a pastry brush brushed olive oil over both sides of the bread.
I probably could have poured the oil in a bowl and brushed from there, but since I was only doing a few pieces I did kind of a panicked “pour & brush” technique where I drizzled olive oil directly on half the bread and quickly spread it out, doing sections at a time.
Once the grill is hot, throw the bread on the grill. Let it sit for a few minutes then check it to see if it’s got nice char marks yet and is getting toasty golden. It probably will still need a couple minutes more. Then flip it and do the same on the other side. I often would flip it back to the original side for 1-2 minutes to finish it.
Depending on your grill times will vary, but I’d estimate a total of 6-9 minutes. Keep a close eye on it though, you don’t want to burn it.
And now for the fun part…TOPPINGS! Really the sky’s the limit here, and as I mentioned above, I tended to use whatever I happened to have on hand.
First, you want to have a base of some sort that separates the bread and other toppings (and keeps the bread from getting soggy).
In this case I’m using a kind of whipped ricotta as my base (ricotta plus a little olive oil, salt, and pepper in the food processor), though you’ll see I also used some burrata. Whipped feta is another good choice for something that adds moisture and a creamy texture, as well as a wallop of flavor.
I was truly using whatever I had on hand, so here are some of the toppings I leaned towards:
- Marinated cherry tomatoes (a little balsamic, olive oil, fresh basil, salt & pepper)
- Marinated fresh sweet cherries (with a little balsamic)
- Honey with fresh sage, lemon juice, salt, & pepper
- Jam or honey (I used my bourbon cherry jam and it was AMAZING)
- Avocado with flaky sea salt and pepper
- Fresh berries with a drizzle of honey
This I Am A Food Blog post has a lot of other great ideas for toppings as well. I tend to favor sweet+savory combinations, like the basil, honey, salt, and pepper one. A good flaky sea salt (like these Maldon ones) goes a long way with providing awesome flavor and crunch to basically any topping.
What I love about this ricotta toast approach is that it can be a super fast (yet fancy) impromptu meal for one, an exciting (but easy) appetizer for a dinner party, or a snack when you’re feeling peckish. It’s super versatile, and feels like you’ve got something special but for very little work.
Other awesome & easy appetizers to try:
- Amazingly Addictive Marinated Feta (this would be amazing on the grilled bread)
- Jam & Brie Puff Pastry Bites
- The Best Burrata Caprese Salad You’ve Ever Had
- Easy Jam & Goat Cheese Phyllo Cups Appetizer
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