Ricotta Crostini Crudite

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Will and Emilie are turning 4 soon and we are having a little party for them.  And you know what I am obsessing about the most?? Yup, the menu.  I know all they want are cheddar bunnies, jello and cupcakes and their day will be complete but I just can’t have that be our only offerings. I must make some pretty food also with the hopes the grown ups won’t reject everything in the same manner my children do.  I sense they will be more subtle…at least I hope.

One thing that is helpful right now is that I am taking a course on child nutrition and cooking via Stanford/Coursera.  It is all online and really interesting. Our first cooking assignment was to create a dish with at least 3 vegetables in it that could serve as a first course.  Perfect!! I tried this out and totally plan on making it for the kids party.  Even got Emilie to try her first radish.  The combination of 2 ingredients that they kids like – bread and ricotta cheese – got the dish through the first crucial barrier – onto their plate.  Except for Will, he is a tougher cookie. He moved his seat the other day because I was eating a salad next to him.  Afraid of being contaminated by those healthy green vegetables.

Matty and Emilie picked off several pieces of the vegetables to try.  Without any coaxing – I was doing a mental “mommy win” dance – while of course keeping a very neutral uninterested face.  Don’t dare show excitement over healthy eating or they sense it!  It was a different presentation then what I usually do with veggies.  And perhaps I just caught them in a consenting mood.

I served this once as an appetizer while I was still making dinner and the next day as an accompaniment to cheesy scrambled eggs that they had for lunch.  This also made a great lunch all by itself.

veg ricotta crostini2better (1 of 1)

I had a bowl of the leftover lightly dressed raw veggies for several days.  I discovered this was a very convenient way to incorporate them into more dishes (shocking I know…). This was my favorite – pita with laughing cow cheese, hummus, spicy pickles, raw veggies and sririacha (my lunch not the kids – but minus the spiciness I would make it for them).

raw veg pita (1 of 1)

Ricotta Crostini Crudite
This is very flexible in terms of how much you can make – you won’t be sad if you have leftover ricotta or cut up veggies.
Ingredients
  • multigrain baguette cut into 1/2″ slices
  • fresh ricotta cheese (or cream cheese or even tofu spread if you want to go no dairy)
  • pick 3 vegetables you enjoy eating raw – I used radishes, broccoli and carrots – use approximately same amount of each and cut up small and if ambitious, into different shapes. You could use a peeler to make carrot shavings for example – I had carrot chips from the store that I stacked up and cut into julienne.
  • fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper (Maldon salt would be nice for on top of ricotta – fine sea salt when dressing the veggies)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, put all the cut raw veggies and drizzle lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper and toss. Start with a little bit of the lemon and oil and taste after tossing taste and see if you want more.
  2. Spread thin layer of cheese on bread slice, sprinkle little salt, bit of olive oil (I used a mister filled with olive oil) and pile on some raw veggies. Add a smidge of freshly ground black pepper.
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