I’m at a point where almost all of my recipe inspiration comes from something I’ve had out at a restaurant. Obviously I’m on a toast/tartine kick when I’m eating out (and at home) as I seem to be recreating those recipes again and again (hello tuna tartare tartine). Funny enough, this recipe inspiration came from a ricotta toast that had so much potential and came up short. This particular ricotta toast had much the same ingredients as this setup up here, but there wasn’t any salt or pepper on the squash. I can’t remember if the squash was even roasted. Anyway, my excitement for my lunch quickly vanished as I made my way through the combination of ingredients, leaving me with two thoughts…
First, salt and pepper are on every table because they are such versatile (and I would argue mandatory) seasonings. Salt enhances natural flavors, so why some chefs and restaurants try to skip that is beyond me. Second, ricotta is great fun but it’s rather bland on its own, so you need to add a little sumpin’, sumpin’ in there. For my recreated ricotta toast (that is a million times better if I do say so myself), I added salt, fresh lemon zest (because it’s always a good idea), and dried thyme to the creamy cheese. They’re all such simple ingredients and yet the flavor was so much better. I’m not going to lie though, those roasted pieces of zucchini stole the show. I was piling on more and more as I made my way through the toast!
Why You Need Two Olive Oils in Your Kitchen
The original ricotta toast had olive oil drizzled over the top for flavor. I had every intention of doing that here, but when I tasted it, I realized that it didn’t need that extra drizzle. Nevertheless, I planned on talking about why everyone should have two olive oils in their cupboard, so let’s do it anyway…
I always have two olive oils on hand – one for cooking and one for “drizzling.” The olive oil I use for cooking is the organic, extra virgin olive oil I buy in bulk from Costco. The drizzling olive oil is MUCH nicer. So, why do I have a different oil for drizzling over dishes and adding into salad dressings? High quality olive oil is seriously delicious. Like on its own – good. When you’re not going to cook the olive oil into a dish then, you want great flavor because you’ll really be tasting it.
There are a lot of options out there for good olive oil. They are sadly quite expensive, but oh so worth it since you won’t be using it every day. Lately, I’ve been using Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You can order it from Amazon, but since olive oil is so temperamental in regards to light and heat, I’d recommend getting a bottle at the market (this goes for all olive oil really). Use the good olive for cooking and the DELICIOUS olive oil for dipping, drizzling, and dressings (alliteration victory!)!
RICOTTA TOAST w. ZUCCHINI SQUASH
Many of my recipes are inspired by tasty dishes I’ve enjoyed at restaurants and cafes. This ricotta and squash toast was inspired by a cafe in Southern California. I excitedly ordered only to be disappointed by a dish that didn’t quite deliver. So I went home to make it myself and fulfill my tasty desires. Now it’s perfect!
- 2 small zucchini thinly sliced
- 1 hefty tablespoon olive oil
- salt + fresh pepper
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 medium slices bread
Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 400°. Lay zucchini slices on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with salt and fresh pepper. Roast 10 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and dried thyme in bowl.
Toast bread. Let cool (if desired) on wire rack.
Divide ricotta mix and zucchini slices between toasts. Top with freshly cracked pepper.
Make this recipe? I'd love to see how it turned out. Tag me @LMinthekitchen on Instagram and use #LMrecipes, so I can see your creation! xo