A dessert take on the ubiquitous tomato bruschetta

Posted April 05, 2011, at 8:41 p.m.
 While these strawberry-ricotta bruschetta are a natural fit as part of a breakfast or brunch, they make a fine passed appetizer as well.
Matthew Mead | AP
While these strawberry-ricotta bruschetta are a natural fit as part of a breakfast or brunch, they make a fine passed appetizer as well.

Traditional tomato bruschetta has become so ubiquitous in the U.S. you can even buy jars of prepared toppings and pretoasted bread. So we decided to reinvent it as a breakfast or dessert item.

Instead of starting with a garlic-rubbed toast, we take slices of baguette and slather them with low-fat yet creamy part-skim ricotta cheese. If you like, you could vary the recipe by using Neufchatel (reduced-fat cream cheese) or even thick Greek-style yogurt.

We then top them with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey — reminiscent of the tomatoes and olive oil from traditional versions. Capping the creamy strawberry toasts is a sprinkle of herbs to add a fresh counterpoint to all the sweetness.

While these strawberry-ricotta bruschetta are a natural fit as part of a breakfast or brunch, they make a fine passed appetizer as well.

For a tart variation, toss the diced strawberries in a sweet balsamic vinegar glaze before assembling and skip the honey drizzle.

STRAWBERRY-RICOTTA BRUSCHETTA

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 10 (2 slices per serving)

12-inch baguette, cut into 20 slices

1¼ cups part-skim ricotta cheese

1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch dice

Honey, to taste

20 fresh mint or basil leaves, cut in thin strips (chiffonade)

Lightly toast the slices of baguette. Spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Divide the diced strawberries among the slices of toast. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with mint (or basil) and serve.

Nutrition information per 2 slices (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 270 calories; 34 calories from fat (13 percent of total calories); 4 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 11 g protein; 3 g fiber; 457 mg sodium.

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