Quick artichoke-ricotta toasts


 ‘Tis the season of entertaining and family tradition. On Christmas Day in the Butler household, we kick off the morning with sausage balls and pop-overs alongside fresh strawberry butter - this is only after I singlehandedly killed the AM ritual of breakfast strata, my arch nemesis, through tears and bullheadedness in about 2002. The noon meal, which follows only a few hours as a postlude to our breakfast feast, has a medium-rare beef tenderloin as the main event with horseradish cream and a rotating gamut of potatoes and greens. At this point, it’s assured that not one sibling of mine wants to hear the word “food” ever again. Yet, somehow, talk of dinner comes up within an hour as we traverse through a sleepy, lazy Austin to see a new flick. We typically settle on leftovers, but, this year, we’ll be making these mini toasts to tide us over to Boxing Day.

I don’t envision that everyone’s Christmas Day goes like this. When you have a lot of siblings, you tend to develop a pack mentality around familial customs and what works - and you also tend to do the holiday thing with closest, immediate family because five kids in a 2001 Suburban for three hours is pure hell. But these Christmas canapés, as I’ve termed them, may suit a Christmas Eve gathering of friends and neighbors or an afternoon snack with a fire and football. It’s not the boldest of dishes, which makes its ease of cooking even better in a sea of picky eaters. You can tackle this recipe in about 20 minutes or less, and can certainly make it ahead of time. You don’t have to make the mini toasts - though I like how concise and simple it is. Use the artichoke-ricotta spread on fresh bread, crackers or as a condiment on a sandwich. It’s as versatile as they come.  

This recipe creates 28 artichoke-ricotta toasts. 

What you need

  • 4 oz marinated artichokes
  • 6 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 7 slices white sandwich bread
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to do it

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Add artichoke, ricotta, olive oil and butter to a food processor or blender. Pulse the spread until it is smooth and set aside.  

Place bread slices on an undressed baking sheet, and toast in the oven until golden brown on each side, about 7-8 minutes. 

Once toasted, chop off the crusts of each slice of bread with a kitchen or bread knife, then cut each slice into four even pieces (square, rectangular, triangular - up to you). 

Top each mini toast with a generous spoonful of artichoke-ricotta spread. Crack pepper and sprinkle salt over toasts to taste. Enjoy! 

The spread can be made ahead of time.

Leftover spread? Store the artichoke-ricotta spread in the fridge covered for up to three days.