Versatile and simple to prepare, toasted baguette is topped with homemade herbed almond ricotta. Inspired by and lightly adapted from Miyoko Schinner's recipe for almond ricotta.You'll need a food processor for this recipe.
1 ½cupsraw slivered almonds ((blanched whole almonds also work but can be harder to find; the important thing is that the nuts are skin-free))
1Tbspfresh lemon juice
½ to ¾cupwater
1Tbspgood quality olive oil
3 to 4Tbspchopped 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))
1largered 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.
You can also finely chop the red pepper and olives, add more chopped herbs, and sprinkle this "salad" on top of the crostini.Other delicious toppings: lemon zest, toasted pine nuts, roasted tomatoes.