These crostini with balsamic strawberries and ricotta are sweet, tart, creamy and perhaps the prettiest appetizers you can serve at your next fancy picnic, Mother’s Day brunch or bridal shower. They also take less than 20 minutes to prepare!
I served these beautiful treats with prosciutto and chive cream cheese crostini at my last brunch party and at first, I could tell my guests were a little unsure about them.
At first glance, people may not expect an appetizer that combines a fruit with a cheese, bread and balsamic vinegar to be particularly tasty. But when one guest gave it a try, his eyes lit up, and he said “That’s incredible!” they all disappeared in an instant.
How to Make These Crostini – Step by Step
1. Slice the baguette into 12 ½ inch slices. Toast them at 350 F. for 5 minutes or until nicely toasted.
2. While your tiny toasts are toasting, chop strawberries into teeny, tiny pieces until you have ½ cup.
3. If your strawberries are very ripe, you might want to place them on a paper towel while you prepare the balsamic reduction sauce to allow the juice to release. Otherwise, the strawberry juices will water down the sauce when combined.
4. In a small saucepan, add 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp. of brown sugar. Reduce the vinegar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until the consistency is somewhat thick and saucy.
5. While the sauce reduces, prepare 1 tsp. of lemon zest.
6. Combine strawberries and lemon zest, pour the balsamic reduction sauce into your measuring cup or bowl, and gently stir.
7. Add a little ricotta to each toast.
8. Then carefully add the delicious balsamic strawberries to the crostini.
A Few Tips
1. Only use fresh strawberries
Frozen strawberries will release too much liquid once thawed and will be a bit too mushy to give these crostini a nice, fresh texture.
2. Assemble these crostini just before serving
Assemble the crostini about 20 minutes, at most, before serving. If you want to prep your strawberries and sauce a few hours beforehand, simply keep the chopped strawberries and sauce separate until you’re ready to assemble the crostini.
It sure does! A strawberry’s most forward flavors are sweet, a little citrusy, and flowery. Balsamic vinegar is also sweet, but has a tangy flavor that “fills in the blanks,” so to speak, of strawberry, the way that salt complements pepper, or sweet complements sour. The flavors round each other out nicely.
I’d say the strawberries, baguette, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar are all a must, but if you want this crostini to be more dessert-like, you can substitute mascarpone for the ricotta.
• cutting board
• bread knife
• small bowl
• baking sheet with rack
• lemon zester or grater
• measuring cup
• small saucepan
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Crostini with Balsamic Strawberries and Ricotta
- cutting board
- bread knife
- small bowl
- baking sheet with rack
- lemon zester or grater
- measuring cup
- small saucepan
- ½ cup strawberries – chopped
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 5 tbsp. ricotta
- ½ baguette
- Slice the baguette into 12 ½ inch slices. Toast them at 350 F. for 5 minutes or until nicely toasted.
- While your tiny toasts are toasting, chop strawberries into teeny, tiny pieces until you have ½ cup. If your strawberries are very ripe, you might want to place them on a paper towel while you prepare the balsamic reduction sauce to allow the juice to release. Otherwise, the strawberry juices will water down the sauce when combined.
- In a small sauce pan, add 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp. of brown sugar. Reduce the vinegar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until the consistency is somewhat thick and saucy.
- While the sauce reduces, prepare 1 tsp. of lemon zest.
- Combine strawberries and lemon zest, pour the balsamic reduction sauce into your measuring cup or bowl, and gently stir.
- Add a little ricotta to each toast, then carefully add the delicious balsamic strawberries to the crostini.
Can these be served not hot but coldish? Could I make the crostini the night before and put them in zip-lock gallon bags, making about 100 of them? I would think it would take on a sweeter taste if I add a small amount of honey to the ricotta cheese and then add the strawberry balsamic mixture on top. Can I refrigerate the balsamic reduction till the next day? Need to pre-prep due to time restrictions that morning.
Sorry for the late reply. I actually serve them only cold. I make everything the day before serving, myself. If you just keep the reduction separate, as you mention, everything can be done the next day.
would cream cheese work instead of ricotta?
As long as it’s whipped cream cheese, I think it would work almost as nicely.
What a lovely appetizer! 🙂 easy recipes are definitely my favorite ones! And I just subscribed to ensure I won’t miss any of your new recipes. Oh, I just got your recipe book! 🙂 I just can’t wait to read it! It is absolutely gorgeous!!
I will certainly talk about that lovely balsamic strawberry crostini recipe in one of my next posts! Of course, I will let you know! 🙂
Talk to you soon
Aww, thank you Linda! Enjoy all of my recipes!!
Use prepared got balsamic glaze? And if so, how much?
If you already have a balsamic glaze, use 1 ounce. 🙂
This was delish. I added the little prosciutto roses and home grown basil to create my “flowers”.
What kind of flowers are those? I would absolutely love it if your recipes would include all the beautiful flowers you use to garnish.
I believe those were white pholox. I always assume that folks may not have access to the exact flowers I have, but I’ll be sure to mention what they are, going forward. Thank you!
Yay, thank you so much!!!
Thank you for mentioning the white pholox flowers. Do you get them at a florist ? Where would I be able to find them. They give the dish that final touch. So pretty
There’s a farmer’s market on weekends right across from where I live in Brooklyn, and I often get my flowers there. I don’t think white pholox is currently in season, but I’ve seen a few English daisies (small, pretty ones), this time of year that look just as pretty.
What others green can be added for a little more color?
Mint would probably be the nicest green to go with strawberry, I’d say.
The prettiest appetizers at my daughter’s graduation party. 5 stars!
Thank you! xoxox
These are so cute! I made these for mother’s day and everyone loved them! Thank you! xoxo
Aww, thank you!