I may have planted too many cherry tomato plants for one small family..but the good news is..I love them and they are easy to give away when the bowl on my kitchen counter starts to overflow. Cherry tomatoes are a kind of gardener’s reward, they are so easy to pop in your mouth while visiting or working in your garden. They are easy to grow and in a very short time my cherry tomato plants were covered with tomatoes. This year I planted four varieties and if I had to pick a favorite it would be the exceptionally sweet and prolific Sungold cherry tomatoes.
I decided to make a simple herbed Ricotta spread on multigrain toasts as a quick Summertime appetizer to use up some of my bounty of cherry tomatoes. This simple appetizer is also a great way to use fresh herbs, especially one of my favorites- Spicy Globe Basil. I used this fragrant small leafed herb as a garnish on my toasts but it can be used like any sweet basil variety, in salads or for pesto.
The whole milk ricotta that I used in my spread has a richer flavor than the skim milk variety and is also a great choice for baking cakes, muffins, breads or cheesecake. I used the Precious-Galbani brand Whole Milk Ricotta, which is easy to find in Bay Area markets.
We were in Banff with a group of friends last week – taking in the beautiful sights, playing golf, hiking, with wining and dining going on every night. The group’s favorite golf experiences were Banff Springs and Silver tip golf courses. The favorite restaurants were the Maple Leaf Grill, in Banff and the Waldhaus Restaurant at the Fairmont Banff Springs, which is where we stayed. I discovered the Casacade Gardens in Banff, which next to our visit to the beautiful glacially-fed Moraine Lake were my favorite sights on our trip to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I also enjoyed our walk in Johnson Canyon, the path between Banff and Lake Louise which follows the river and passes by spectacular falls and was a great way to build up an appetite for our lunch at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
I enjoyed our trip to Banff and As I’m sitting at home in my kitchen writing this quick recap of the trip I’m already thinking about a return visit for more hiking, river rafting or even a canoe trip. The golf courses in Banff are beautiful and my husband would be the first one to sign up for a return trip to play them again. Next time around I’m thinking about staying in a log cabin with a porch and rocking chairs for evening relaxation. I love to go on vacation but it’s also great to come home to my kitchen and a garden filled with tomatoes.
Makes 1 & 1/3 cups Herbed Ricotta Cheese Spread.
- 1 cup whole milk Ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons minced herbs, globe basil, mint, summer savory, chives
- 2 tablespoons Feta cheese crumbles, plus more for topping toasts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, plus more for topping toasts
- Loaf of multigrain bread, sliced and toasted
- Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Fresh herbs, globe basil
- Thinly sliced small pieces of red onion
- Place Ricotta cheese, red onion, herbs, feta crumbles, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and mix together.
- Spread Ricotta cheese mixture on multigrain toasts and garnish with cherry tomato halves, fresh globe basil, thinly sliced red onion and Feta cheese sprinkles, serve.