This pesto ricotta crostini with roasted cherry tomatoes is a rustic and delicious appetizer perfect for any summer occasion. This quick and easy recipe uses only a few simple ingredients making it ideal for entertaining or a tasty snack.
Summer is the season for crostini and bruschetta with cherry tomatoes. There is no better way to use cherry tomatoes than slow roasting them and pairing them with rustic crostini, homemade pesto, and ricotta cheese. This Pesto Ricotta Crostini recipe with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes is my go-to appetizer recipe all summer long.
Slow roasted cherry tomatoes in olive oil are out of this world addicting. When the natural sugars in tomatoes are allowed to caramelize, they become sweet little morsels of nature's candy, bursting with incredible flavor. Once you try it, you will see what you have been missing!
Cherry Tomatoes: We grow cherry tomatoes in pots in our backyard every year. Freshly grown tomatoes have much more flavor than store-bought. However, either works just great. Use a mix of red and yellow cherry tomatoes for more color.
Ricotta Cheese - Ricotta cheese balances out the acidity of the pesto and tomatoes and has a luscious rich flavor. Whole milk ricotta cheese works best for this recipe. However, skim milk ricotta cheese works as an alternative.
Pesto - Use either store-bought or homemade pesto for this tomato ricotta pesto recipe. This Homemade Lemon Garlic Basil Pesto is my personal favorite.
Italian Baguette - Any long rustic loaf of bread will work for this recipe.
Garlic - After crostini or bruschetta are toasted, rub a raw clove on the warm bread to add a subtle garlic flavor. It may not seem like much, but it adds something extra to this pesto crostini recipe.
Olive Oil - Extra virgin olive oil is preferred.
How to Make Pesto Ricotta Crostini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- First, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, slice the cherry tomatoes in half and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a large mixing bowl.
- Spread tomatoes out on the parchment-lined baking sheet and turn each one to ensure the cut side is facing up.
- Slow roast the cherry tomatoes for 2-3 hours until they look shriveled. The roasting time will depend on the size of your tomatoes.
- Take tomatoes out of the oven to cool and set the oven to broil. Cut the baguette into ¼ inch slices and place on a baking sheet and brush the tops with olive oil.
- Broil for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown (watch carefully to ensure they do not burn!). Once bread slices are golden brown, take them out of the oven and immediately rub a cut garlic clove on the tops while they are still hot.
- To assemble, spread each slice of crostini with a layer of ricotta cheese, top with a few roasted tomatoes, then finally a drizzle of pesto.
Vegan Crostini: To make this crostini recipe vegan, omit the cheese and add roasted mushrooms to make a mushroom pesto crostini.
Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta - Whipped feta is very popular right now. To prepare, combine feta cheese and either plain greek yogurt, cream cheese, or sour cream in a food processor until smooth.
Whipped Ricotta Crostini - To make whipped ricotta, simply place whole milk ricotta cheese in a food processor with salt and pepper to taste and blend until smooth.
Bacon Crostini - Bacon makes everything taste better. Sprinkle some crispy bacon on top of your crostini for a flavor explosion.
Tips for Pesto Ricotta Crostini
- Make in Advance - The time the cherry tomatoes take to roast will largely depend on their size. As a result, roasting the cherry tomatoes in advance is ideal for entertaining.
- Color Variety - Use a mix of red, orange, and yellow cherry tomatoes for a rainbow of colors.
- Watch the oven - When using the broiler to toast bread, it tends to burn very quickly. Make sure to watch your oven carefully during this step to ensure the bread does not burn.
- Grow Your Tomatoes - For extra flavor, try growing your cherry tomatoes. Here is an excellent article with tips for growing cherry tomatoes in pots.
Once roasted, place the cherry tomatoes in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the cherry tomatoes to an airtight container and freeze them for six months.
Use them as a topping on pizza, add them to pasta, or blend them to make a roasted cherry tomato salsa.
Yes, crostini can be toasted ahead of time, making a great time saver. To prepare, broil the crostini slices until golden brown and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, place in a zip lock bag and store at room temperature for up to two days.
How do I prevent crostini from becoming soggy? Present the crostini toppings in separate bowls and allow your guests to assemble their own when ready to eat.
More Related Recipes
Pesto Ricotta Crostini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 pints Cherry Tomatoes
- 8 oz Ricotta Cheese Whole Milk
- 1 Italian Baguette
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 4 oz Basil Pesto
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchement paper. Wash, dry, and slice cherry tomatoes in half (large ones cut into quarters). Then in a large mixing bowl toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Spread the cherry tomatoes out on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and turn each one to make sure the cut side is facing up.
- Bake for 2-3 hours until they start to look shriveled, the time will depend on the size of your tomatoes.
- Take the tomatoes out of the oven to cool and set the oven to broil. Slice the baguette into one fourth inch pieces and brush the top sides with olive oil.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown (watch carefully to ensure they do not burn!). Once bread slices are golden brown take them out of the oven and immediately rub a cut garlic clove on the tops while they are still hot.
- To assemble, spread each slice of toasted bread with a layer of ricotta cheese, then top with a few tomatoes, then a drizzle of pesto .