Today we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Progressive Eats team with an elegant summer soiree! I decided to make an appetizer for the party and thought these roasted tomato crostini with herbed ricotta would be the perfect way to begin our celebratory meal.
The Progressive Eats team has evolved over the years but it always has the most remarkable collection of talented women bloggers. Each one with a unique voice and perspective. Be sure to check out their recipes listed below – you won’t be disappointed!
We definitely have a tomato celebration today with several different ways to prepare and present them. I chose to roast mine, a technique you can use even when tomatoes aren’t at their peak. The roasting concentrates the flavors and develops boldness while in the oven.
The herbed ricotta adds a luscious note and brings a creamy Italian note to the crostini. It reminds me a little of the cheesy layer in lasagna. If you are dairy-free, you can leave off the ricotta or use a vegan cheese to make that layer. Hummus would also be a great alternative.
While these roasted tomato crostini are super easy to make, they are still elegant enough for your fanciest parties. With store-bought bread, this comes together really quickly. The tomatoes take a while to roast, but you can roast them ahead of time. Your hands-on time is really fast!
I have included a recipe for gluten-free baguettes from my first cookbook, The Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook. I use the bread machine to mix the dough and then form the baguettes by hand, let them rise on the counter, and bake them in the oven. They are so good people will be amazed when you tell them they are gluten free!
I hope you make these roasted tomato crostini with herbed ricotta soon and enjoy the best flavors of summer!
How to make the Roasted Tomato Crostini with Herbed Ricotta
- Roast the seasoned tomatoes
- Toast the baguette slices
- Whisk together the ricotta topping
- Assemble the crostini and serve
Do I have to bake my own baguette?
No, you can use a freshly baked baguette from the grocery store or bakery. If you are gluten-free, I have included a recipe to make a baguette that tastes as good as a regular loaf. You can also use a store-bought gluten-free baguette; Schar’s is a good option.
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
- Plum tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Balsamic vinegar
- Ricotta cheese
- Baguette slices
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe
- Baking sheet
- Bread knife
- Chef’s knife
- Silicone brush
- Parchment paper
- Offset spatula
- Baguette pan (if you are making your own bread)
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Roast the tomatoes earlier in the day to make assembly much faster. You can also make the ricotta mixture a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until about 30 minutes before you are assembling the crostini. You want it warm enough to spread easily.
You can buy gluten-free baguettes or use the recipe I included to make your own. You will need a baguette pan to form the loaves and use a sharp knife to make slits in the dough before setting aside to rise and baking.
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is all about an elegant summer evening celebration, and our host is Barb who blogs at Creative Culinary. This event is celebrating five years of bringing together great cooks, concepts, and especially great food through the collaboration of Progressive Eats.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we’ve put together for our celebration inspired dishes!
Elegant Summer Evening Soiree!
- Roasted Tomato Crostini with Herbed Ricotta – The Heritage Cook
- Shrimp Cocktail Louis – From a Chef’s Kitchen
- Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread – Shockingly Delicious
- Steamed Clams with White Wine, Pancetta and Basil – Sarah’s Cucina
- Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction – Spice Roots
- Tomato and Fennel Salad – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Chocolate and Cherry Cake with Mascarpone Frosting – Creative Culinary
- Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta – The Redhead Baker
- Chocolate Layer Cake with Ganache – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- 6 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise and cores removed
- Organic olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Granulated sugar
- 12 baguette slices, cut on the bias, each about 1/2-inch-thick (see following recipe for a gluten-free baguette)
- Organic olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tbsp grated Parmesan or more to taste
- 1 tbsp organic olive oil
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- 10 large basil leaves, minced, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Roast the Tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tomatoes, cut-side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush on the oil and drizzle lightly with the balsamic vinegar. Then sprinkle lightly with the salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, sugar, and oregano (use about a pinch of each). Place in the oven and roast for 35 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and beginning to caramelize. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Bake the Crostini: Reduce the oven to 375°F. On another baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, place the baguette slices. Brush lightly with the olive oil, then sprinkle with the salt to taste. Bake until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. (Do not refrigerate.)
- Make the Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, Parmesan, and olive oil until smooth. Add in the garlic powder, oregano, and 1/2 the minced basil; stir until smooth and all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Assemble the Crostini: Smear some of the ricotta mixture on the seasoned side of each of the cooled baguette slices. Top with one of the roasted tomatoes, and sprinkle each with a little of the remaining basil. Serve at room temperature.
- Make Ahead: All the components can be prepared ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate the tomatoes and ricotta mixture separately. Store the toasted crostini in a sealed container at room temperature. Return everything to room temperature before assembling.
Adapted from a recipe on The Food Network
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 689mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g
- 28 g (2 tbsp) active dry yeast
- 300 g (2-1/2 cups) Light Flour Blend (found under the Gluten Free tab at the top of the page)
- 96 g (3/4 cup) cornstarch, potato starch (not potato flour), or tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup (22 g) milk powder or DariFree (40 g)
- 1 tbsp granulated cane sugar
- 2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 2 tsp psyllium husk flakes or powder
- 1/8 tsp ascorbic acid, optional
- 3 large egg whites, warmed to room temperature*
- 240 ml (1 cup) water, warmed to about 80°F (27°C)
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable or olive oil
- 2 tsp champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) vegetable or olive oil
- * To warm eggs, place them in their shells in hot water and set aside while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Separate the eggs and use the warmed whites for this recipe.
1. Set the bread pan on the counter and insert the beater paddle(s). Unless otherwise directed by your machine’s manufacturer, add the liquids first, then the dry ingredients, and finally the yeast.
2. Measure the yeast into a small bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the remaining dry ingredients together.
3. In a 2-cup (0.5 liter) glass measuring cup, whisk the wet ingredients together and pour into the bread pan. Use a spatula to spread the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, covering completely. Make a shallow well in the center and pour in the yeast.
4. Place the bread pan in the machine, settle it in the center, and lock it in place. Close the lid and select:
Loaf size: 1-1/2 pounds (750g)
5. While the machine is mixing and kneading the ingredients, open the lid and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the pan as needed, pushing any flour that has accumulated around the edges, in the corners, and under the dough into the center to be blended. This dough is wetter than other breads, making it harder for the paddle to blend. The dough tends to be pushed out to the edges of the pan, no longer being beaten. Use the spatula to lift the dough onto the paddle repeatedly to get as much mixing done as possible. Let the machine mix the dough until it is smooth and has no lumps, about 5 minutes. Press the stop button to cancel the cycle, turn off the machine, and remove the bread pan.
6. Line both channels of the baguette pan with parchment. For shaping the dough, pour the oil into a large mixing bowl. Use a spatula to scoop the dough into the oiled bowl. Use the spatula to fold the oiled parts of the dough up and over the top, creating a disk of dough that is oiled on all sides.
7. Use the oiled spatula to scoop half of the dough into each side of the baguette pan. Use your oiled hands to form each half into an elongated oval, like a football. Starting in the center and working out to the ends, gently squeeze the dough with your fingers to lengthen it into a more even baguette shape. Smooth the tops gently. With a sharp, oiled knife or a specially-designed razor blade called a bread lame, make two or three
diagonal slashes on the top of each loaf.
8. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray and gently lay it over the dough, oiled-side down. Set the pan aside to rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Gluten-free doughs rarely double in size but they do expand and get taller.
9. While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
10. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan. Bake until the loaves are deep golden brown, firm on the outside, and reach an internal temperature of about 210°F (97°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 minutes longer.
11. Cool the loaves in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes, then use the parchment as a sling to help you transfer the loaves to a wire rack. Slip them off the parchment and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. If you cut one and it seems a little gummy in the center, put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, then cool completely before slicing. You may need to reduce the liquid by a tablespoon the next time you make the recipe.
12. These baguettes are best eaten on the day they are baked. If you have any left over, store in a plastic bag for up to two days at room temperature, then wrap tightly in plastic and transfer to the refrigerator for another couple of days. For longer storage, double-wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months.
If you prefer seeded bread, sprinkle a seed blend of your choice on the dough after you’ve formed it into loaves. Gently press the seeds into the dough. Cut the diagonal slices into the top of each loaf. Set the bread aside to rise and continue as directed.
If you don’t have a baguette pan and don’t want to buy one, you can make a substitute out of foil. Place three or four layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil (each about 17 inches/43 cm long) on top of each other. Pinch a 2-inch-high (5 cm) divider in the center lengthwise (to separate the dough as it rises) and two more on the long edges. Set the foil on a baking sheet. Brush the foil lightly with oil, put half of the dough in each half of the foil, forming it into an elongated baguette shape, and bake as directed.
From "The Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook" by Bonacci and Kinsella
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