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Bruschetta with Broccolini, Herbed Ricotta and Garlic

Bruschetta with Broccolini, Herbed

Bruschetta with Broccolini, Herbed

Ingredients

A crusty boule or other good quality artisanal bread

2 cups of fresh or purchased ricotta, at room temperature

2 bunches of broccolini, cleaned and ends trimmed

2 tablespoons each of chopped chives, basil, and flat-leaf parsley 

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme

4 to 6 cloves of garlic peeled and thinly sliced, quantity to taste

2 or 3 large whole cloves of peeled garlic to rub on the bruschetta

Zest from 1 lemon 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Red pepper flakes, a pinch

Extra-virgin olive oil 

Sea salt 

Method

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a medium bowl, combine the fresh ricotta with 2 tablespoons each of chopped chives, basil, flat-leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste and about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well, taste and adjust the salt and pepper, if necessary. You can mix in a bit of additional olive oil, if you prefer a creamer texture. You can also add additional lemon juice, again to your taste. Set aside until you are ready to serve the bruschetta. You can prepare the ricotta up to a day in advance. Just refrigerate until ready to use, and return to room temperature.

Steam or boil the broccolini for several minutes until the stems are crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and add to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the broccolini with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Sauté the broccolini for several minutes. Then add the thinly sliced fresh garlic. Continue cooking the broccolini for several more minutes until it is wilted and the garlic slices start to turn slightly golden. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Set aside until ready to serve the bruschetta.

Cut the bread into 12 slices, about 1/2 inch thick and prepare the bruschetta according to master recipe for Bruchetta 

Spread the herbed ricotta on the warm bruschetta, top with the broccolini (whole or chopped), a few golden slices of garlic and serve immediately. If the bruschetta sits for too long with the ricotta on top, it will become soggy. You can also add some prosciutto (San Daniele or Prosciutto de Parma, if available), or some shaved Parmagiano Reggiano, or both.