Grilled Crostini with Lemony Ricotta & Balsamic Basil Strawberries

27 May, 2015

Grilled Crostini with Lemony Ricotta & Balsamic Basil Strawberries

Fire up the grill for a unique and flavorful summertime crostini.

There’s nothing I love more than grill season. Mostly because I enjoy grilling everything in sight, from veggies to fruit to protein and seafood. I love the flavor that food develops after a few minutes on the grill: that blackened color, the crispy exterior, slight char and intense smoky taste. Nothin’ like it. Truly.

 

So, with grill season in full swing these days, I’ve been taking full advantage of our patio and newly purchased grill. First, it was Hawaiian Teriyaki Burgers. Then, Bourbon Salmon. Then, Giardineira Stuffed Sausage with Peppers and Onions. But most recently, it was grilled bread. What a revelation, right? Sure, it seems simple enough. Grilled, thick sourdough transformed into an incredible, flavorful crostini.

 

Strawberries have been beautiful this season, so I knew I wanted to utilize them in one way or another. Balsamic Vinegar is a classic and unique pairing with fruit, but I wanted to take things slightly further. Enter, Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Basil. First, I marinated the strawberries in balsamic, lemon zest, basil and a touch of brown sugar. After letting the flavors develop over about ½ hour, I worked on part one of the topping. I had a bunch of ricotta in the fridge from a previous dinner, so I zested up a lemon and added it to the leftover ricotta. Then, it was time to grill!

 

I generously brushed the bread slices with olive oil, so they’d get a good char from the grill. To get nice and crispy, bread doesn’t take long - probably 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how hot you keep your grill and where you place the bread. Once the bread was finished, I spread lots of lemony ricotta on the bread, then added a spoonful of the flavor-packed berries. Strangely, I served this as a side dish, but after two & a half slices (whoops), I realized this could easily step up to main dish status.

 

If you’re searching for your next grill-out recipe, I sincerely hope you’ll try this crostini. It’s easy. It’s customizable. It’s full of amazing flavors. And most importantly, it’s one of those meals that you’ll wake up the next morning still thinking about. Mmmm. Grilling.

 

Grilled Crostini with Lemony Ricotta & Balsamic Basil Strawberries

 

Recipe

  • 5 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package strawberries, washed, stems removed and sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Basil
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Pinch of brown sugar
  • A few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 cup skim ricotta

​​Brush each slice of sourdough generously with olive oil. Set aside.

In a small bowl, add the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, basil, a pinch of the lemon zest, brown sugar & pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and set aside for at least 1/2 hour.

Add the rest of the lemon zest to the ricotta mixture and stir to combine.

Preheat your grill to high. Add the slices of bread to the grill and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until slightly charred. When the bread is finished, remove from grill and spread a spoonful of ricotta mixture on each slice. Add a few strawberries to each slice and drizzle with more basil & balsamic, as a garnish. Turn grill off and enjoy!

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