Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta with Ricotta and Basil

Serves 8

Top thick toasts with sweetened ricotta and balsamic-glazed strawberries. It’s a fresh and fast dessert with no baking required. Spoon on the berries just before serving.

⅓ cup balsamic vinegar

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped

8 slices crusty French bread

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup whole-milk ricotta

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped

Extra fresh basil (for garnish)

1. In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let the mixture bubble gently for 5 minutes, or until it reduces slightly.

2. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Add the strawberries.

3. Heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet. Brush the slices of bread on both sides with butter and pan fry until lightly browned.

4. In another bowl, stir together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, and basil. Spread each slice of grilled bread with some ricotta mixture, top with strawberries, and garnish with basil. 

By Claudia Catalano. Originally published in The Boston Globe.