RICOTTA CROSTONI WITH PEPERONATA

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Although I have never been a big fan of sweet peppers, I absolutely love this dish. The stewed peppers and onions are broken down creating a sweet and savory topping for the creamy and crunchy ricotta crostoni. It is a perfect way to start a dinner party. Make sure you make enough, as they will go quickly!

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RICOTTA CROSTONI WITH PEPERONATA

Makes 12 crostoni

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick

10 garlic cloves thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sea salt

freshly ground pepper

3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

3 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons raw evaporated cane sugar

1 cup basic tomato sauce (recipe coming soon or a good store bought brand)

1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pits removed and discarded

fresh italian parsley leaves, thinly sliced

1 baguette

2 1/2 – 3 cups homemade ricotta (or a quality store bought brand)

extra virgin olive oil

garlic clove

maldon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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In a large sauté pan, that can accommodate all the peppers and onions, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, fresh black pepper,  and cook for 5-7 minutes. Continuously stirring, as you don’t want the garlic to burn. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the peppers and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Sauté until the peppers are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the vinegar, oregano and sugar. Stir to combine. Add the tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish. Run the back of a spoon over the top of the peperonata to flatten the surface. Place the peperonata in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven, stir in the olives, and return to the oven, cooking uncovered for an additional 30-35 minutes, until the top and sides begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. The peperonata can be made two to three days in advance. Refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.

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To assemble the crostoni, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette on a severe angle, creating 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush each slice with olive oil and place in oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and rub the oiled side with the garlic clove. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Top each slice with a thin layer of ricotta. Next, scoop some of the peperonata mixture over the ricotta. Finish each slice with a sprinkle of italian parsley and maldon salt.

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Enjoy!

Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s, The Mozza Cookbook.

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