Grilled bread is topped with seasoned ricotta, juicy summer peaches, thick, sweet honey, and fresh basil to make a simple summer meal worth repeating over and over and again.
Before we talk about these gorgeous toasts, I want to stop and talk about bread for a minute. You know, that gloroiusly soft, perfect-for-toasting, soul-satisfying food that is so often demonized by our society? There’s so much to be said, and so little space in which to say it; one thing I know for sure is this: bread is not the enemy. If you have an allergy or a legitimate digestive issue, I feel for you, and I understand why you avoid bread sometimes. If you are wary of tons of unpronounceable ingredients in your food and want to treat your body kindly, I’m still with you. I’m right there, understanding that sometimes you skip the bread. I do too, for so many reasons. But here’s the thing; eating bread doesn’t make you unhealthy, just like eating kale won’t make you healthy. One food can’t make or break anything.
More often than not, I don’t skip the bread. Here’s why: I love bread, especially freshly baked bread, and that’s really where the story ends. Except I also don’t want to be pressured to live a life without bread because it will supposedly make me (shh, don’t say it too loud) FAT. So, if you love bread, I think you should eat it. I would much rather eat the bread and be happy than skip the bread and be miserable. That goes for everything: eat it! If you love it and it makes you feel good, do it. There’s enough hatred and hurt in this world, let’s not inflict more on ourselves or each other over the foods our society deems inaccessible to women. With that said, go grab a loaf of crusty bread because you’re going to want this crostini today, tomorrow, and forever. It’s that good.
All this to say, let’s eat some bread! This crostini is built upon a thick, olive oil-drizzled slice of grilled bread. I chose a slice of ciabatta because there was a loaf on the counter that needed to be used up. I’m a sucker for seeds and grains, too, so if I had a loaf of super seedy bread on hand, you’d be looking at pictures of that bread, grilled. You do you.
Onto the grilled bread goes a generous slather of ricotta, which forms a cool, creamy bed for peaches to nestle up in. If you haven’t ever had cold ricotta, now is the time. The ricotta is seasoned with salt and pepper, and so different from the ricotta you know and love in stuffed shells or ravioli. All that’s left to do is slice up a ripe peach, lay it on the bread, sprinkle on some basil, and drizzle honey over the whole thing. And then eat it, obviously.
Crunchy bread + salty, creamy ricotta + sweet peaches + sticky, floral honey + fresh basil = summer on toast. While you could make this any day, it’s particularly welcome after a day on the beach or any day spent in the sun when you’re kind of exhausted, slightly lazy, and in need of a meal that goes well with a glass of wine. This crostini delivers on all of those needs, and more. You could definitely make mini versions as an appetizer for friends, or serve it alongside salads or grilled meat for a heartier dinner. I’m trusting you to know how much you want to eat, and improvise as needed.
I hope you’ll give this satisfying summer meal a try. With just 4 days until our wedding (!!!), there’s minimal fridge or brain space to plan big dinners. I also have to fit 2 wedding cakes in the fridge Thursday night, so this crostini might be dinner for the foreseeable future. If you make this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment below or tag me #bakedgreens on Instagram so I can peep all your juicy summer peaches.
- 4 thick slices of crusty bread (I used ciabatta)
- olive oil, to drizzle on bread
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 2 ripe peaches
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 6-8 leaves basil
- 1. Preheat a grill pan (or an actual grill). Drizzle bread with a little olive oil on each side, and grill until toasty on each side. You could also just stick the bread in the toaster, then drizzle with olive oil when it finishes toasting.
- 2. Meanwhile, mix ricotta with salt and pepper. Thinly slice peaches, and roughly chop basil.
- 3. When bread is grilled/toasted, spread each slice with about 1/4 cup of ricotta, slices from half a peach, a pinch of basil, and a drizzle of honey. This is best served right away, or else the bread will eventually get soggy.
- Depending on if this is a meal or an appetizer for you, you could get anywhere from 2-8 servings out of this recipe. I chose bread that sliced into pieces about the size of my hand, but if your bread is smaller, you should make (and eat!) more.
If you bring the wine I’ll bring dinner!