More and more in recent years, it seems like people are getting on board with a touch of salt being added to desserts and other sweet things. Flaky sea salt is popping up in caramel ice cream and on top of chocolate chip cookies. But I think that black pepper deserves it’s day in the sun, too.
Years ago, I made some sort of spiced gingerbread-type cookie (the details escape me now) where the recipe called for ground black pepper. At the time, I felt really strange about it, but after one bite of the finished product, I was convinced. The black pepper added a pleasant spicy quality to the cookie without making it too savory.
March is National Nutrition Month, and through my partnership with Milk Means More, I’ll be bringing you recipes that highlight healthy eating through unique flavor combinations. These Ricotta Crostini with Gingered Blackberries have (you guessed it!) a hint of ground black pepper stirred into the ricotta.
The fresh blackberries are tossed with a homemade ginger syrup, making these little bites the perfect combination of sweet, savory, crunchy, soft, fruity and spiced. Serve these as a unique “cheese course” alternative to a traditional dessert, or as a fun appetizer.
The dairy products used in these Ricotta Crostini with Gingered Blackberries were produced by members of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. For more information on UDIM and to find out why Milk Means More, please visit their website and connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
Ricotta Crostini with Gingered Blackberries
- 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/3-inch-thick pieces (about 24 pieces)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2-1/2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baguette slices on rimmed baking pan and lightly brush both sides with butter. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp, turning once.
- Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, stir together sugar, water and ginger. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat; simmer 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in blackberries.
- In small bowl, stir together ricotta and black pepper.
- To assemble, spread each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture. Divide blackberries over crostini. Sprinkle with mint and serve immediately.
Home Chef Tip: Chop the fresh mint JUST before using it to garnish. Mint leaves can discolor quickly after chopping, so it's best to save this for the last minute.
Disclosure: As a Milk Means More Ambassador, this post was sponsored by The United Dairy Industry of Michigan. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries … lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.