Oh friends, why did no one tell me how good roasted cherries and mint are together? How have I reached this ripe old age and never tried this glorious flavour combination? Anyway better late than never I guess, I am so glad I did discover this, my new favourite flavour combination. I know it’s not an unusual combination, in fact since I discovered it I have seen a few of recipes using exactly this combination. Somehow it escaped me to put the two together. But put them together I did and these roasted cherry crostini with lemon ricotta were the result.
These little heavenly topped toasts are the perfect Summer appetiser. Gloriously juicy, melt in your mouth cherries, roasted with lemon, honey and a hint of thyme. Creamy, lemon scented ricotta with just the memory of vanilla to sweeten it a tiny bit. Crispy, crostini with a smear of olive oil are baked in the oven until golden, then left to cool and harden very slightly. Spread the ricotta over the crostini, pour a spoonful of plump cherries over the ricotta then add a crumble of walnuts, finish with some torn mint and welcome to heaven.
Crostini are usually a savoury appetiser and I would serve these as such, but these feel so decadent and sweet they could very nearly be dessert. But do serve them as an appetiser and your guests will be salivating for more, trust me. I used a French baguette to make the crostini, it was quite thin and not the longest baguette. The amount of crostini you get will depend on low long your baguette is and how thickly or thinly you cut it. If you do happen to have any roasted cherries left over then save them, they are amazing in porridge or natural yogurt, a perfect breakfast. If you have any of the ricotta left over then save that too, it’s very good spread on some sour dough toast with a drizzle of honey and some almonds slivers.
Roasted Cherry Crostini with Ricotta
- 400g cherries pitted and halved
- 2 tbs honey
- The juice and zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 French baguette sliced into 2.5 - 3 cm slices
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 200g ricotta cheese
- 2 or 3 drops of vanila extract
- A couple of sprigs of mint leaves only, torn
- 40g walnuts chopped
- Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C, 392F. I use a fan assisted, electric oven. Please adjust according to your own oven.
- In a mixing bowl add the cherries, lemon juice, honey and thyme and mix well. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then pour the cherries on to the tray. Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 15 minutes. Give the tray a little shake half way through cooking. They should be soft and the skin a little wrinkled. Carefully transfer the cherries and juice to a serving bowl. Discard the thyme sprigs.
- Place the slices of baguette on a baking tray then drizzle a little oil over each slice. Place on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turning each slice half way through cooking. They should be a light golden colour.
- Add the ricotta to a serving bowl, stir in the lemon zest and vanilla, leave in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- To serve, spread some lemon ricotta on the toasted bread, top with a heaped teaspoon of roasted cherries, sprinkle some chopped walnuts over the cherries then add a little mint.
Need more cherries? Check out these Black Cherry Chocolate Brownies