This is the first summer I’m attempting to grow an herb garden. (I say attempt because it could still all go down hill.). In it, I have chives, basil, cilantro, and peppermint, and by some act of God, I haven’t killed any of them yet. If I haven’t mentioned this already, I have a black thumb. I can barely keep a fake tree alive…
Well, I’m getting to a point where I have too many herbs and I can’t use them fast enough. I started researching some simple, “whip-it-together” recipes that I can use these herbs in and came across this fantastic food blog – Veggie & The Beast, and their literal “whip-it” style recipe. I made this for a BBQ last weekend and it was a hit. It’s so delish and refreshing, and the basil from my garden was the perfect topping.
Whipped Basil Ricotta
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
- ¾ cup fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
Strawberry Balsamic Crostini
- 1 (15-ounce) whole wheat baguette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ pound strawberries, hulled and chopped
- ¼ cup basil, sliced or chopped
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Place the ricotta and ¾ cup basil in a food processor, and process until smooth. There may be some small pieces of basil left, but the color of the ricotta should be a light green. Add salt and cream cheese, and pulse a few times until the cream cheese is fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt if you’d like.
- Pour the balsamic into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it has reduced by half. Set aside to cool while you get the other ingredients ready (it will thicken slightly in this time)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle the top of the bread with salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Slice or chop the additional ¼ cup fresh basil leaves for garnish.
- Let the baked bread cool for 5 minutes, then spoon on the basil ricotta, top with strawberries and additional sliced basil, and finish with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.