Rainier Cherry Crostini with Whipped Ricotta, Prosciutto and Mint – sweet, juicy cherries are perfectly paired with creamy whipped ricotta, salty prosciutto and garnished with mint for a delicious summer appetizer! A beautiful, delicious and easy appetizer to serve al fresco! Pair with a glass of rosé for ultimate enjoyment.
Right now is my absolute favourite time of year. We are in the height of summer, basking in the heat, the sunshine, and all that goes along with it. I feel so relaxed and happy this time of year and try to enjoy every minute that I can of it. Days spent at the beach, or even just outdoors in my backyard with my plants and cats are where its at. Of course, the amazing fresh produce that comes along at this time of year is also something I am enjoying!
I look forward to the arrival of fruits and veggies that are otherwise unavailable the rest of the year. Or if they are available, they just aren’t as tasty as they are right at this moment. There are so many seasonal foods that I am loving right now – I’ve mentioned them in some of my recent posts (such as fiddleheads, squash blossoms and garlic scapes.)
Now we are getting into the warmer parts of summer, where fruits such as peaches, strawberries, apricots, cherries and more are freshly picked and available! It’s the absolute best.
One of the fruits I look forward to each year are Rainier Cherries. Growing up I had only ever seen the dark sweet cherries that are more commonly sold where I live, which are a rich deep red in colour. It wasn’t until I was shopping at a local market that I discovered these beauties.
The Rainier cherry is a hybrid of two cherry varieties, the Bing cherry and the Van cherry. Rainier cherries are yellow, with a tinge of red. It appears as though they are blushing! They also taste a bit sweeter, as they have a lower acidity level to them.
Rainier Cherry Crostini
This recipe for Rainier Cherry Crostini is perfect for summer snacking and entertaining! They are very easy to put together, with the hardest/most time-consuming part being pitting the cherries. Once you get that part done though, it is all smooth sailing!
No Rainier cherries available? No problem! You can use any sweet cherry variety as a replacement for this recipe and they will be just as delicious!
We start out by slicing our baguette, and brushing it with a good quality extra virgin olive oil. They are toasted in the oven for a few minutes per side, until golden and crisp.
Next, we blend ricotta and honey together in a blender, until wonderfully smooth and creamy. Whipping the ricotta like this makes it perfectly spreadable and gives it a lovely smooth texture. The honey adds a touch of sweetness to an otherwise fairly neutral tasting ingredient.
We spread that ricotta onto the crostini we made, layer on some salty prosciutto, top with some rainier cherry halves and then finally, a sprinkling of mint leaves. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy them!
They are almost too pretty to eat.
If you make these Rainier cherry crostini please let me know! You can leave a comment below, rate it, post on the Zest & Simmer Facebook page or share photos on Instagram with the hashtag #zestandsimmer. I am always thrilled to hear from you!
Rainier Cherry Crostini with Whipped Ricotta, Prosciutto and Mint
- 1 small baguette (approximately 200g)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup Rainier cherries , pitted and halved (other sweet cherries are good too)
- 5-6 slices prosciutto , halved
- 8 mint leaves , chiffonade
- With a bread knife, slice baguette into 1/2-inch rounds on a slight diagonal. Depending on the exact size of your loaf, this should give you approximately 10-12 slices. Brush baguette slices with olive oil on both sides. Place on a baking sheet, and put in the oven on broil for 2-3 minutes. Flip slices, and broil another 2-3 minutes. Be sure to watch carefully while broiling so the bread does not burn. Set aside to allow the crostini to cool a bit.
- Add the ricotta and honey to a blender, and whip for approximately 30 seconds or until completely smooth.
- Once crostini is no longer hot, spread the whipped ricotta evenly over slices. Place one of the prosciutto halves over top each crostini, and then gently arrange cherry halves on top of the prosciutto. Finally, sprinkle the chiffonade mint leaves over cherries. Serve and enjoy!