These wonderfully simple ricotta toasts with sliced plums, nectarines, tomatoes, and arugula make for a perfectly of-the-moment summer supper that’s so much more than the sum of its parts.
Ricotta toasts are a simple summery staple to get your dinner routine through the heat of late summer. But they’re more than just an almost no-cook dinner option – ricotta toasts, layered here with sweet sliced stone fruit, bright tomatoes, and peppery arugula, are wonderfully sublime, capturing lovely sweet and acid notes, the chew of good bread, and the richness of creamy ricotta and olive oil.
Simply put: these layered ricotta toasts are a celebration of summer eating at its absolute peak.
The basic elements of a crisp, chewy crostini covered in pillowy ricotta are enough on their own to earn a permanent spot in your meal planning repertoire. Indeed, ricotta toasts are adaptable enough to find a place in every season – with roasted vegetables in fall, citrus and honey in the winter, asparagus or fava beans in spring – but we all know that right now, the height of tomato and stone fruit season, is the very best time to have toasts for supper.
Ricotta Toasts: Taking Care with Each Element
Your toast doesn’t have to be fancy, but taking care in preparing each element matters.
To start, brush thick-cut bread all over with olive oil, sprinkle with flaky salt and pepper, and toast until golden on both sides. My bread of choice is sourdough, but any crusty loaf will do. While prepping your bread, take care to brush the olive oil all the way to the edges. This ensures the bread stays tender and helps to avoid hard, razor sharp crusts.
While the bread toasts, fold whole milk ricotta with a good-tasting olive oil, sea salt, pepper, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes for a touch of heat. Slice the tomatoes and the plums, peaches, or nectarines. Sprinkle a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper over each.
Just before serving, toss the arugula with a lemony vinaigrette and, yes, more sea salt and pepper.
Ricotta Toast in Every Season
As noted above, the basic crostini and ricotta combination can be a jumping off point for meals throughout the year. As we head into fall, consider roasted vegetables like winter squash, beets, or carrots, sautéed greens, caramelized onions, chicories, roasted fruit like plums and grapes, and fresh greens and herbs.
With nearly endless variations, remember to keep it simple with two to four main elements. Happy toasting!
These wonderfully simple ricotta toasts with sliced plums and nectarines, tomatoes, and arugula make for the perfect of-the-moment summer supper that's so much more than the sum of its parts. Ricotta toasts can be served as a meal or an appetizer.
Need a classic vinaigrette recipe for the arugula? Find that recipe here.
- 8 (1/4-inch thick) slices sourdough or other crusty bread
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 plums, halved, pitted, and sliced
- 1 nectarine or peach, halved, pitted, and sliced
- 1 slicing tomato, halved and sliced
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 tablespoons classic vinaigrette, or a mix of red wine vinegar, lemon, and olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Brush bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil on both sides (all the way to the edge), and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and toast each side for about 4 minutes. The crostini should be an even just-golden hue.
Spoon ricotta into a small mixing bowl and gently fold in remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and sea salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the stone fruit and tomatoes. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the stone fruit to prevent browning. Sprinkle fruit and tomatoes all over with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
Just before serving, toss the arugula with dressing and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto each crostini. Layer with stone fruit and tomatoes, and top with arugula. Drizzle about ¼ teaspoon balsamic over each toast. Serve right away!