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Fresh Ricotta and Radish Crostini
© John Kernick

Fresh Ricotta and Radish Crostini

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

Homemade ricotta cheese is completely delicious and unbelievably easy to prepare—all it takes is milk, lemon juice and a little heat. Chef Paul Kahan spreads it on crostini, then adds a few slices of pretty red radish and a sprinkling of pepper.

  1. 2 quarts whole milk
  2. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  3. Salt
  4. Eight 3/4-inch-thick slices of ciabatta or Tuscan bread
  5. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  6. Freshly ground pepper
  7. 6 large radishes, thinly sliced
  8. 1 small bunch arugula, thick stems discarded
  1. Line a colander with moistened cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Add 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice and cook over low heat, stirring gently, until curds form and rise to the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes; the curds will firm up slightly.
  2. Using a slotted spoon with small holes, gently scoop the curds into the colander; discard the liquid. Let the ricotta drain for 15 minutes, then gently lift the cheesecloth to flip the curd and let drain for 15 minutes longer. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl and season with salt.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Broil the bread 8 inches from the heat for about 4 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with the 2 tablespoons of oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the radishes and arugula and toss.
  5. Spread the ricotta generously on the toasts and top with the radishes and arugula. Garnish with pepper and serve.
Make Ahead The ricotta can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Pair the crostini with a refreshing lager, like pale-gold Peroni from Italy, which won't overwhelm the delicate ricotta.