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Italian Summer Bites

Italian Summer Bites with a quintessential Italian cocktail

It’s a long weekend, Ontario (and British Columbia, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nunavut and Northwest Territories)! Enjoy the day off! Get together with some friends! Make some cocktails and enjoy the outdoors. I will be spending today flying back from Italy where we enjoyed different locales, the wedding of our friends in Marsala and some wonderful garden fresh vegetables!

This is a gorgeous time of year all you fresh vegetable fans! Tomatoes are out! Here is a recipe that brings back memories of Italian summers, hot days and breezy nights. This is a great appetizer when company is coming. It is vegetarian and easily modified for celiac/gluten-free guests. You can prep in advance and put it together minutes before your guests arrive. A version of the Italian crostini, these little Italian Summer Bites are a hit with all!

It takes very little time to make and lets you have more time to enjoy your friends and the long weekend!

Prep time: 10 minutes; Serves: 4 – 6 (approximately 20 – 24 pieces)

What you need:

  • 1 baguette, slice on the angle
  • 8 oz (1 box) cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced into halves (or quarters, your call)
  • 8 oz ricotta (1/2 454 g container)
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • balsamic vinegar (or crema con balsamic0), for drizzling

What you do:

  • In a bowl, mix the ricotta, lemon juice and zest
Mix the ricotta, lemon zest and lemon juice
Stir to mix
  • In a separate bowl, mix the tomatoes, shallots, basil and olive oil, add the salt and pepper, stir
Tomatoes, shallots, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper
Stir to combine
  • Grill the baguette slices on one side
Slice baguettes on the angle
Grill baguettes on one side
Grill one side
  • Top the bread slices with the lemon ricotta mix
  • Add the tomato mix on top


  • Drizzle with balsamic (or crema con balsamico)

  • Want to make this for your gluten-free/celiac friends? Top on sliced cucumber slices
For a gluten-free option, serve on cucumber slices
  • Serve and enjoy


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