lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
tbsp granulated sugar
tbsp white balsamic vinegar
vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped or 1 tsp vanilla paste
baguette, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
tbsp olive oil
cup cups whole-milk ricotta
freshly ground black pepper
cup basil or mint leaves, for garnish
extra virgin olive oil for finishing
In a medium sized bowl mix together strawberries, sugar, white balsamic and vanilla bean seeds and pod, season with a pinch of salt. Set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature until juices are released. This can be made up to 4 hours in advance.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place baguette slices on a baking tray. Brush both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Let cool. To assemble crostinis, spread each one with a tablespoon of ricotta, then spoon on a few strawberries and their juice. Sprinkle over pepper, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh basil or mint leaves.
Prepared crostinis should be enjoyed as soon as they are prepared. Do not make in advance, as they will become soggy. All the other ingredients can be prepared in advance and then assembled when ready to serve.
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