If you haven't had homemade almond ricotta before, you're in for a real treat! These crostini with herbed almond ricotta are such an easy, elegant appetizer. Your choice of fresh herbs and toppings also make this an endlessly versatile recipe.
I was first introduced to almond ricotta when Mark and I attended Chicago VeganMania back in 2012. Miyoko Schinner held a cooking demo for a very excited and packed room. She talked about homemade vegan cheeses and cooked up recipes from her book Artisan Vegan Cheese, while her helpers handed out samples to the eager crowd. Of course, the food was perfection and her charismatic personality adorable! I became an instant fan and ordered a copy of Artisan Vegan Cheese the minute we got home. Over the next few years, as you may know, Miyoko was hard at work creating her vegan cheese and butter empire, Miyoko's Kitchen. Thank goodness for Tomorrow's Creamery!!
As soon as my copy of the book arrived, Miyoko's recipe for stuffed shells with basil ricotta was the first thing I made. The combination of fresh basil, fluffy, salty almond ricotta, marinara, and pasta is a dish I truly believe any person, vegan or not, would find irresistible. Now, back to ricotta on crostini!
I used a combination of parsley and rosemary for my herbed ricotta because those were the herbs I had on hand. As I mention in the recipe below, your choice of herbs will determine the overall flavor profile, so keep that in mind. On that note, if you want the ricotta to shine, I would omit the olives. I love olives with my whole heart, but they do tend to dominate softer flavors.
So, I don't know about you, but I'm keeping this vegan crostini recipe in my back pocket as we head into the holiday season. Aside from remembering to soak the almonds in advance, it couldn't be easier to throw together for a party! On top of that, you can even make the ricotta a day or two in advance. Just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and stir in the herbs when you're ready to party.
If you come up with a favorite herb combo don't forget to snap a pic and share it with us by tagging @myquietkitchen on instagram!
P.S. Keep an eye out for creamy almond ricotta in baked ziti!
Click here for the basic almond ricotta recipe.
Crostini With Herbed Almond Ricotta
- 1 ½ cups raw slivered almonds (blanched whole almonds also work but can be harder to find; the important thing is that the nuts are skin-free)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ to ¾ cup water
- 1 large French-style baguette
- 1 Tbsp good quality olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 to 4 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano, sage (I used 2 Tbsp parsley and 1 Tbsp rosemary) *Since some flavors are stronger than others, consider your desired flavor profile when choosing herbs
- 4 ounces Kalamata or other good quality olives, pitted, sliced (seek out your store's olive bar to buy only as much as you need)
- 1 large red pepper, roasted, skin peeled, julienned
- freshly cracked pepper
Soak the almonds:
- Cover the slivered almonds in water and soak a minimum of 4 hours and up to 8. (If using whole, blanched almonds, soak 8 to 12 hours. Alternatively, pulse in a food processor to break them into smaller pieces to reduce soak time.)
Make the ricotta:
- Drain the almonds. Place almonds, lemon juice, salt, and ¼ cup of the water in food processor. Process until well combined, scraping down sides as needed. Add another ¼ cup water and continue to process until light and fluffy, but not completely smooth. Taste for saltiness. Fold in the fresh herbs.
Make the crostini:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice baguette on the bias into ½ inch thick slices, and place on a baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil and bake until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cut off the bottom third of the garlic clove to expose the inside. Rub garlic over each piece of toast.
- Top crostini with herbed ricotta, roasted pepper, olives, and black pepper and serve.