Happy 2013! As I sit here writing this post, my eyes are drooping and my brain is pleading with me to shut off the computer and get some rest. I am still recovering from all of the craziness the month of December brings and a cold that just won’t go away. I am not one for jotting down resolutions at the beginning of the new year, but there is one thing that I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on and that was this blog. To put it simply, I started Ravishing Hunger as a way to channel the passion I have for cooking and eating. I knew very little about food blogging at the time or how to leverage social media. Taking pictures of my food was so very daunting and still is in many ways. The point is I have so much more to learn and I am very excited to focus more of my energy on Ravishing Hunger this coming year.
I’ve had the opportunity to connect with other food bloggers locally here in the Bay Area as well as nationally and internationally. They inspire me every day and are one of the main reasons why I continue to document the fun I am having in my kitchen. I was recently asked by a lovely fellow food blogger to participate in a project they are putting together (shhh, I cannot reveal any of the details of this yet except for one, and that is I was asked to share a post of one of my favorite appetizers). I jumped at the invitation to be a part of this wonderful event, but realized that I had yet to post any appetizer recipe to date!
Baked Herb Ricotta and Roasted Tomato Crostini is one of my favorite appetizers to make. This recipe is about taking simple ingredients and turning them into something wonderfully delicious. Ricotta is given a boost by the addition of fresh herbs, lemon, and a bit of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes. I add a few roasted tomatoes on top to give a burst of sweetness. Perfect for spreading on top of crostini and finished with a drizzle of olive oil. This appetizer can be prepared the morning of your party and heated in the oven right before guests arrived.
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salt and pepper
- 1 baguette, cut into 1″ slices
- Place baguette slices on a cookie sheet and lightly brush with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and place on a plate to cool.
- Place cherry tomatoes in bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until brown and caramelized. Set aside and let cool.
- For the baked ricotta, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine ricotta, herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and red pepper flakes in a bowl until well mixed. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and bake for 12 minutes until the edges start to bubble and the ricotta is heated through. Remove from oven.
- Spread the warmed ricotta mixture onto the toasted baguette slices. Place a few of the roasted tomatoes on top. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.