Fresh Ricotta and Pickled Beet Crostini
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 3 medium beets, scrubbed and peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbs. whole peppercorns
- 1 lb. (2 cups) fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup lightly packed) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Zest of 2 lemons, plus juice of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bag (10 oz., about 2 cups) frozen peas
- 3 Tbs. olive oil, plus additional for serving
- 1/3 cup (packed) finely chopped mixed herbs, such as chives, parsley, dill, and mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 8 slices crusty bread, cut 1 inch thick
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 small radishes, thinly sliced
- Heat the broiler to high.
- Combine the sugar, vinegar, and 2 cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the beets, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cover and reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook until the beets are just tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the liquid; drain before using.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the zest of one lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Prepare an ice bath. Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Salt generously and add the peas. Cook 30 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon to the ice bath. Drain and pat dry. Transfer to a bowl and dress with olive oil, the remaining zest of 1 lemon, lemon juice, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toast the bread slices under the broiler, flipping once, until charred. While the bread is still warm, rub each side lightly with garlic cloves.
- Divide the ricotta mixture among the toasts. Top with peas, beets, and radishes. Garnish with whole herbs and an additional drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve.