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Croute with herbed ricotta

These fresh herb topped croute are quick and easy to make and taste just like a tiny mouthful of spring. If you can get ficelle, the finger sized baguettes, they bake into a really crisp base, but baked circles of bread work almost as well (I couldn't get ficelle so the picture shows bread croute). To make them even easier, skip making the bases and buy a packet of ready made croute.

Ingredients - makes 12

1 ficelle (mini baguette) or 3 slices of bread - gluten free works too.

1 tbsp olive oil


2 tbsp ricotta

1 tsp finely chopped sage

1 tsp finely chopped thyme

1 tsp finely chopped parsley

0.5 tsp finely chopped chives

1 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon (I used Belazu)


To decorate:

Tiny thyme sprigs or tiny sage leaves


Mix the ricotta, herbs and lemon. Check seasoning. This can be done several hours ahead.

Heat oven to 190°c

Cut squares or circles of bread (or, if available, use one ficelle, cut into slices).

Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil, season and place on a baking sheet. Cover with baking parchment and press another baking sheet on top. Bake for 8-10 minutes (depending on size).

Cool on a cooling rack. Can be stored in an airtight container for several of days.

If the croute are very crispy (the ficelle crisp very well) they can be topped and kept in a cool place for a few of hours. If not, store little spoonfuls of the herb mix topped with the thyme sprigs on parchment paper in the fridge and put it all together an hour or so before serving.

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