Ricotta Crostini with Pickled Ramps and Crisp Pancetta

Chef Ryan Hardy got the idea for his sensational crostini from a jar of pickled ramps he recovered from the back of his refrigerator.

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  • Servings: 10 to 12

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  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ramps or scallions, white and light green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-by- 1/4-inch pieces
  • Ten 1/2-inch-thick slices of ciabatta, cut into 2-by-2-inch squares

How to make this recipe

  1. In a saucepan, toast the coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, crushed red pepper and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove the brine from the heat and add the ramps and garlic. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Drain the ramps, reserving 3 tablespoons of the brine.

  2. In a bowl, mix the ricotta with the 3 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. In a skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the reserved 3 tablespoons of brine, scraping up any browned bits in the pan.

  4. Preheat the broiler and set a rack 8 inches from the heat. Brush the bread with oil and arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Broil until golden, 1 minute per side. Spread half of each crostini with the ricotta and top with the pickled ramps, pancetta and any pan juices, then serve.

Make Ahead

The pickled ramps can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Suggested Pairing

A bright, fruit-forward Grüner Veltliner.

Contributed By Photo © Michael Turek Published April 2013

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