Weather: 46 degrees, much needed rain to slow the wildfire
Where there is a party, you will likely find me in the kitchen. I’ll be that girl who helps set up the food beforehand, the one who makes sure the food is replenished and looking just so throughout the night, and the one who is cleaning up and washing dishes afterward. That’s just me. I may emerge from the kitchen for brief stints here and there, but I always gravitate back to it – my happy place in the middle of the hustle and bustle of party goers and celebration. I love to be helpful and I always long to nourish; the introvert in me also wants to retreat and keep busy. There is great comfort in knowing who you are and being ok with it. I’m the kitchen girl… and a happy, grateful one at that.
Recently, a food friend of mine and I were washing glasses for guests at a party and we both readily admitted to each other -over soapy splashes, laughter, and the sound of a pianist playing off in the far corner – that that was exactly where we wanted to be. Together, we found a quiet rhythm of cleaning and serving that soothed my soul (and hopefully hers). I was glad to have discovered another kitchen girl like myself.
Subtle, creamy ricotta toasts are a perfect means of highlighting summer’s ripest strawberries and freshest basil. A little lemon zest here, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper there, and a drizzle of local honey over everything is all you need to make this elegant appetizer or simple lunch shine.
Ricotta Toasts with Strawberries, Basil & Honey
Toasted crusty bread spread with lemon-scented ricotta and topped with ripe strawberries, fresh basil, and honey.
Yields: 8 toasts, 3-4 servings
- 8 slices crusty white bread, like French or Italian, toasted
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
- several small basil leaves (or larger basil leaves, thinly sliced)
In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread each slice of toasted bread with a generous smear of the ricotta mixture. Layer strawberry slices over top of the ricotta, followed by basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with honey. Serve.