Honey- Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta

Food and Wine, Honey-Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta: August 2008

Food and WineHoney-Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta:            August 2008

I’ve been a subscriber of Food and Wine magazine forever, which means I’ve had this issue in my pile of never-throw-away magazines since August of 2008. This magazine always, ALWAYS has at least a handful of terrific recipes within its pages, and since we’re big wine drinkers at my house… the fact that they suggest wine pairings with their recipes is a big, fat bonus.

This past summer issue focuses on using the best of local flavors. The cover recipe, however, sits among a feature called: Honey: From A to Bee. The article shares that the last few years have been tough for bees. Beekeepers everywhere are finding abnormal numbers of hives abandoned, which is a bummer since one-third of the US diet involves bee pollination. The artisanal bee producers are still able to hang on to their bees, and their bees are making fabulous honey. (Since this article is from 2008, I have no idea how things have progressed- good or bad- with regard to the bees). The magazine shares 8 honey-themed recipes, and this Honey-Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta is one of them. All of the recipes shared were created by cookbook author Susan Spungen. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe…

Honey Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta

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Honey- Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hour 26 min

Ingredients:

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons clover honey
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 baguette slices, cut 1/2 inch thick on the bias
1 cup fresh ricotta (8 ounces)
1 tablespoon buckwheat or chestnut honey
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, honey, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Scrape the tomatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and turn them cut side up. Bake the tomatoes for about 1 hour and 25 minutes, until they begin to shrivel and brown. Let cool.

3. Preheat the broiler. Spread out the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Broil for about 30 seconds on each side, until the edges are golden brown.

4. Spread the ricotta over the baguette slices and top with the slow-roasted tomatoes. Lightly drizzle the tomatoes with the buckwheat honey, sprinkle with the sliced basil and serve with additional buckwheat honey on the side.

MAKE AHEAD: The roasted tomatoes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Tips:

*For "clover honey," I used my regular bear-shaped honey.
*I looked high and low in specialty markets for either buckwheat or chestnut honey. No luck. Instead I used a Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Honey.
*I believe that using FRESH ricotta makes a world of difference- find it and use it!

*I needed to roast my tomatoes for about 20 minutes longer than indicated to get them just right (wilted and lightly browned).

Source: Food and Wine, August 2008

The results:

I searched high and low for the right kinds of honey for this recipe since it was such a honey-focused recipe. I didn’t have any luck finding either buckwheat or chestnut honey (as the recipe calls for). I’m assuming that is a dark hued honey since the cover photo shows dark drips off of the bruschetta. I opted for Macadamia Nut honey, hoping that would lend the nutty flavor that the others may have produced. The Macadamia Nut honey was excellent. I have no idea if I was on the right track at all for a substitution, but it was really very good. Besides having to roast the tomatoes about 20 minutes longer than called for, this recipe turned out rather perfect. Fresh ricotta is a must as it tastes 100% better than any brand variety that you buy in the market. The sweet honey was so perfect with the creamy ricotta and roasted tomatoes. I’m pretty sure I’d have enjoyed it just as much using regular old honey and not the two varieties, as called for.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Most definitely, YES. It made for an excellent summer appetizer that was enjoyed by all of my dinner party guests. I always like to see some connection between the cover recipe and the magazine’s theme for the month. Honey wasn’t mentioned on the cover at all, but it was an obvious popular choice for a summer issue.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

2 Responses to “Honey- Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta”

  1. 1

    Tieghan — July 22, 2013 @ 7:32 am

    These look delicious!! Honey and tomatoes are such an amazing combo!

  2. 2

    Nessa — July 24, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    Oh my! These look and sound incredible :)

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