I occasionally cook, it is the root of my love affair. Not to suggest I am great in the kitchen, I simply appreciate the work that goes into cooking. And to be frank, if I am paying someone else for that work- it better be worth it.
One of the things I love to make the most when I host people are aperitivo snacks. If you’ve read anything on this blog, you’ve hopefully gathered by now that I’m aperi-obsessed. I could have a whole dinner just on finger foods and aperitivo snacks. You can be creative and arrange beautiful looking spreads, while creating a social atmosphere around eating.
I invent things mostly on what I think flavors would go together- I like to experiment. A recent experiment brought me these crusty crostini chunks of delight:
Present was a bottle of Prosecco so I thought I would be safe to experiment with all of these strong flavors.
What you need, quantities to your liking:
1 cup Fresh ricotta, ideally from the deli counter at a gourmet grocer or a local farmer’s market. Not the commercial stuff.
1/4 cup Shelled, unsalted pistachios (raw or toasted)
Sea Salt to taste
Good quality white truffle honey to drizzle or if you prefer to whip in, 1/2 tablespoon.
Optional: Aged Balsamic Vinegar (the thick-ish stuff)
A loaf of rustic, artisan bread (baked with salt like Pugliese or Neapolitan style)
Add ricotta to a small mixing bowl. Chop pistachios. Add to ricotta. Spoon a 1/2 of truffle honey. Fluff/mix with a fork until uniform and specked with chopped pistachios. Don’t forget to taste and add more honey if you are more of a sweet/salty contrasty person. Add salt to taste.
Toast or grill some good quality rustic, crusty bread for crostini.
Spread ricotta mix on toasted/grilled bread. If you are feeling really gourmet, lightly drizzle on some aged balsamic glaze. But not too much- truffle honey can be strong tasting so you don’t want to dominate the flavors by adding too much balsamic which is already super flavorful. Just enough to provide more tangy, umami contrast.
If you don’t care for truffles (to each their own!), plain honey will do just as deliciously.
Wine Pairing suggestion: Prosecco from Valdobbiadine, creamy, sparkling wines from Franciacorta and/or Trento. I would be interested to try this pairing with a Vernaccia di San Gimignano (from Montenidoli) or even a young Nebbiolo from Piedmont (areas: Alba, Barbaresco and Langhe).
In your aperi-trust,
The Curious Appetite
Want to spend an afternoon doing some fun food and wine pairings with me around town? Send me a note for more info! Need tips on how/where to shop for quality food ingredients? Leave a comment!