CHEESY BROCCOLI TOASTS WITH RICOTTA AND HONEY
1 loaf ciabatta or crusty Italian bread
½ cup olive oil, divided
1-pound head broccoli
1 small onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup basil leaves, chiffonade (plus more for garnish)
½ cups grated cheese (cheddar, provolone, Swiss, etc…)
½ – ¾ cup ricotta cheese, store-bought or homemade (make the homemade if you can!!)
¼ cup honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Cut the bread into 8 slices about 1-1 ½” thick. Brush about half of the olive oil over both sides of the bread. Place the slices on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned, toasted on the outside, but still soft inside (or grill the bread until toasty). Remove and set aside
Chop the broccoli into evenly sized florets and finely chop the stems. Add the broccoli to the pot and blanche for 4-5 minutes until the broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender. Drain in a colander. Chop so everything is evenly sized to about ¼-½” pieces. Set aside. Note – this recipe is also a great use of leftover broccoli from dinner the night before!
Heat 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the broccoli, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning to the pan. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli softens. Gradually add the parmesan cheese. Stir in the basil.
Top each of the bread slices with a heaping portion of the broccoli mixture followed by 2-3 tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and begins to lightly brown.
Top each toast with about 2-3 tablespoons of the ricotta, drizzle the honey over the tops, and garnish with more basil leaves.
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