Dinner Inspiration: Italian “Tapas”

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Sometimes I get bored with the same old formula of meat + starch + vegetable = dinner.  I love having a bunch of simple, small plates to pick and choose from. This is another reason why finding Dolcetto in Montreal was so exciting (see: this post for more details).

This dinner was a spread of prosciutto, ham, roasted red and yellow peppers, and crostini topped with ricotta and a tomato basil mixture. The highlight of this dinner, and the only one that might benefit from a recipe post, was the crostini. Use it for this purpose, or as a stand-alone appetizer

This was a really fun dinner shake up, and is completely doable on a weeknight.  It’s a way to slow down, have dinner last a little longer and spend a little more time with your favourite company. Best served outside (in my opinion!), so hurry before the summer evenings quickly turn into autumn nights.  Bring wine.

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Crostini with Ricotta with Tomato Basil Topping

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1 demi-baguette, sliced
olive oil, for brushing

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved/quartered
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, grated/finely minced
several leaves of basil, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine ricotta and salt and pepper, lightly whipping with a spoon. Get creative here; add herbs and seasonings as desired!
  2. Combine tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Toast until lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes or so. Watch closely.
  4. Assembly: spread desired amount of ricotta on toast and top with tomato-basil mixture.
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