Bruschetta with Black Olive Pesto, Ricotta, and Basil

Use only a high-quality whole-milk ricotta for this recipe; our preferred brand is Calabro.

Photo: Holland America Line

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 recipe Toasted Bread for Bruschetta
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 loaf crusty country bread

Preparation

Black Olive Pesto
Process garlic, olives, oil, shallot, and lemon juice in food processor until uniform paste forms, about 10 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once during processing.

Combine ricotta with salt and pepper to taste in small bowl. Divide olive pesto among toasts and spread to edges. Top with ricotta and carefully spread over pesto. Drizzle with extra oil, sprinkle with basil, and serve.

Toasted Bread
Adjust oven rack 4 inches from heating element and heat broiler.

Slice 1 loaf crusty country bread (about 10 by 5 inches, ends discarded) crosswise into ¾-inch-thick pieces and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until bread is deep golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and repeat on second side.

Lightly rub 1 side of slices with ½ peeled garlic clove and brush with extra-virgin olive oil. (You will need ¼ cup oil.)

Season to taste with salt. Process garlic, olives, oil, shallot, and lemon juice in food processor until uniform paste forms, about 10 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once during processing.
Combine ricotta with salt and pepper to taste in small bowl. Divide olive pesto among toasts and spread to edges. Top with ricotta and carefully spread over pesto. Drizzle with extra oil, sprinkle with basil, and serve.

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