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Peppery Ricotta Cheese Crostini

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To make these crostini, Mario Batali slathers smoky grilled toasts with black pepper-spiked ricotta, then returns them to the grill briefly so the cheese melts slightly and becomes extra-creamy.

  1. 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese, preferably goat's milk (1 pound)
  2. 3 garlic cloves—2 minced, 1 whole
  3. 3 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 baguette, cut diagonally into 24 slices (1/2 inch thick)
  6. 24 anchovy fillets, drained
  7. Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  1. Light a grill. In a medium bowl, blend the ricotta cheese with the minced garlic and chopped oregano and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill the baguette slices over a medium-hot fire without turning until golden brown, about 20 seconds. Lightly rub the grilled side of each toast with the whole garlic clove and top with the ricotta mixture and an anchovy fillet.
  3. Return the crostini to the grill, anchovy side up. Cover and cook the crostini until the ricotta is hot, about 2 minutes. Transfer the crostini to a platter, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Make Ahead The ricotta spread can be refrigerated overnight.