Summer Appetizer

appetizer set-up

appetizer set-up

I’m currently lusting over this basket ricotta cheese from Bellwether Farms. I opened it up while cooking for friends the other night and dug in— everyone sitting around the island did, too. We couldn’t stop!  Normally, I’m not crazy about ricotta; it tends to be flavorless and bland. I even tried making my own, and Bellwether Farms beats that as well. I’ve found it locally at Whole Foods and C’est Cheese.

ricotta package

This is delicious, creamy, salty and a tad sweet. Since breaking it open that night, I have been experimenting with various ways to serve it. I used it in place of mozzarella a la caprese style— cutting up some farmers market tomatoes and nestling ricotta quenelles around the platter.  Then, I took what was left of the cheese and the next night made these simple appetizers that my friend, Jules, insisted on having on the blog this week!

Summer Appetizer

Ricotta & Tomato Appetizer


You can make as many or as few of these tasty bites as you want. A good rule of thumb is three per person if you’re serving additional items. The other night this appetizer turned into dinner and we ate more like six each—I think we would’ve eaten more, but I ran out of ingredients. And like most recipes on the site, it’s all about combining well-chosen, in-season ingredients to create simple, delicious food…it just takes a “few good men” to make for some pretty happy women.


Note: Work smart. Assemble all the crackers with ricotta on your platter first, add the tomatoes to each and then finish with toppings.


1 pint basket grape tomatoes

1 sleeve of La Panzanella Mini Croccatinis — I love these crackers. They may seem expensive, but you get a ton in each box. Plus, they taste delicious all on their own.

Bellwether Farms Basket Ricotta

Sea salt — I like Maldon and Murray River.

Red pepper flakes

Opal or purple basil leaves — I used purple basil because that’s just what is growing in the garden.

Best quality EVOO


basil bush


Slice the grape tomatoes — barely cut off the ends and you should get about three slices per tomato.  Put the tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.


bowl of tomatoes


Now, go grab the rest of your ingredients.


croccatini package


Liberally coat the crackers with the cheese– about a teaspoon of each or more.


assembling the appetizer


Place at least 3 tomato slices on each cracker. Sprinkle opal basil leaves on top of the crackers.


Add sea salt and red peper flakes, to taste. Drizzle the whole thing with great olive oil.


assembled appetizer