Strawberry Ricotta Tartine

It’s officially spring. Not only is it warm enough to swim laps, but the strawberry farm 2 blocks from my house is starting to harvest. I’m finding myself daydreaming about strawberry pies, strawberry sorbet and strawberry shortcake. Today I’ve been eating them straight out of the green box, and have been enjoying them on simple open-face tartine sandwiches with ricotta and black pepper.

I hesitated about posting such a simple idea as an open-face ricotta and fruit sandwich, but as a grad student, my friends and I are always looking for quick dishes to throw together. It’s healthful, and a breeze to throw together as a light breakfast, snack, appetizer, or dessert.

This tartine sandwich concept gives you flexibility. For the bread, use slices of baguette, a larger artisan loaf, or whatever you have on hand. The fruit variable is wide open with this, depending on what is local and in season. Strawberries are simply what I’m using this week. In the summer you’ll be sure to find me assembling these with sliced peaches, nectarines and plums. The ricotta is also great with dates or figs.

It may sound bizarre to add black pepper to strawberries, but it’s a lovely pairing. My family has a long history of tossing macerated strawberries with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and several grinds of black pepper before using them to top ice cream.

baguette slices
black pepper
sliced strawberries
honey (optional)

Either toast the baguette whole and then slice it hot, or slice it first and toast the slices like crostini. Your choice. Spread the slices with ricotta. Grind a little black pepper before topping with the fruit. A drizzle of honey is optional, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.

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