Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fourth Day of Appetizers: Tomato Ricotta Toasts

A few weeks ago, I received a super exciting email and I've been waiting anxiously to share it on my blog.  Someone from Red Gold tomatoes contacted me about entering a blogger contest of theirs, which in and of itself was exciting and obviously I entered without a moment's hesitation.  But THEN, they asked if I would like a little gift basket of their tomato products to test out in my recipes!  I was beyond thrilled!

I love cooking with canned tomatoes.  In fact, more often than not, I prefer it.  I always have a dozen cans of various tomatoes in my pantry: diced, crushed, whole, tomatoes with basil, pureed, and sauce.  Why?  Well, the tomatoes at your local market that are grown out-of-state are usually grown to withstand transport.  They have thicker skins and sturdier flesh and just don't taste very tomato-y.  They lack the juicy, sweet flavor of a homegrown tomato.  So if I'm not buying my tomatoes at the farmers' market, I'm usually using canned tomatoes because they are picked at their freshest and canned right away to capture the delightful essence of the tomato.  I was eager to try Red Gold's tomatoes in my recipes. 

My first test of the Red Gold tomatoes was with my fourth appetizer recipe of the holiday season: tomato ricotta toasts.  When doing a minimalist recipe that calls for only a few ingredients, make sure those ingredients are quality.  I purchased some homemade ricotta from Whole Foods, a freshly baked baguette, and the sweet-tasting, diced tomatoes provided by Red Gold.  The outcome was an easy but tasty appetizer recipe that I actually quite enjoyed for dinner last night -- warm, toasted bread; creamy ricotta cheese; and the tomatoes were wonderful -- sweet, juicy, and flavorful. 

I also just realized that this is my 100th blog post!  So fitting that it features bread, cheese, and tomatoes, my three favorite things.  I've loved working and eating my way through the last 100 posts -- I can't wait for the next 100!

Tomato Ricotta Toasts
serves about 6-8 as an appetizer

One large baguette or Italian loaf, sliced into one-inch slices
1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
~ 2 cups of ricotta
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Brush the bread slices lightly with extra virgin olive oil and place on a grill or grill pan for about 5 minutes, or until the one side of bread has nice grill marks.  Don't toast the other side!

Once the bread has toasted, place a thick layer of ricotta cheese on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Then place a heaping spoonful of diced tomatoes on top of the cheese.  That's all!  Eat and enjoy this simple but delicious appetizer!


  1. 100! What an accomplishment. Cooking and eating with you is always exciting, makes me happy. I will try these tomato ricotta toasts!

  2. Congratulations on 100 posts!