This past February I decided to organize a book club with some of my favourite girlfriends. What started as a chance to read, cook and get together on occasion, has quickly become a highly anticipated afternoon of thought-provoking conversation paired with some really amazing food and wine. Our most recent book 'The History of Love' by American novelist Nicole Krauss was a beautiful read and provided us with a lot to talk about surrounding the topic of life's great loves.
For this month's meeting I made Seattle-based chef Renee Erickson's 'Ricotta, Apricot and Crisp Prosciutto Tartine'. A perfect appetizer for a summer picnic.
Ricotta, Apricot and Crisp Prosciutto Tartine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and garnish
4 fresh apricots, halved and pitted
Four ½-inch thick slices country bread
4 thin slices prosciutto
½ cup ricotta, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
6-8 mint leaves, roughly torn
Set a grill pan over medium heat and brush lightly with oil. Brush
apricots lightly with more oil and season with salt. Once grill pan is
hot, lay in apricots, cut-side down, and cook until charred on both
sides and just tender, 3-5 minutes total. Remove apricots from pan and
set aside. Lay bread into grill pan and cook both sides until golden and
charred in spots, 3-4 minutes total.
Meanwhile, swirl 2 tablespoons oil into a medium sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add prosciutto and cook until darkened in spots, less than 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
While toasts are warm, spread generously with ricotta. Top with apricots and prosciutto. Garnish with oil, salt, pepper and mint.