1 1/2cupsdiced fresh tomatoesI like to use a variety of tomatoes
1/4of a large purple onion
1/2cupwhole milk ricotta cheese
1tablespoonfresh basilroughly chopped
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
aged balsamic for garnish
Slice (12) 1/2 inch rounds of bread on a large cutting board and arrange on a nonstick baking tray.
Next, peel a clove of garlic and slice off one end. Take a pinch of salt and place on the cutting board. Dip and lightly press the cut side of the garlic into the salt. Next, rub the garlic clove along the outside of each bread round, occasionally going back and dipping into the salt. The salt helps act as an abrasive while rubbing around the bread.
After all the bread has been lightly coated with garlic, quickly drizzle a bit of olive oil on all of the slices. Place the whole tray into the oven and broil on medium high for 2 minutes and then flip over, continue to broil the other sides for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Once toasted, allow to cool.
Wash and dry your tomatoes. Dice all of the tomatoes into roughly equally sized pieces and add to a medium sized bowl. Mince the remaining garlic clove (you can add more garlic depending on your preference) and dice the 1/4 of the purple onion. Combine in the bowl with the diced tomatoes,1 tablespoon chopped basil, 1 heavy pinch of kosher salt, and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir gently to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as you like.
Use a large spoon to quickly swipe a nice layer of ricotta (about 3 teaspoons) on each toasted slice of bread, and then spoon a generous helping of the tomato mixture (about 2 tablespoons). Drizzle with a syrupy aged balsamic vinegar before serving.
Because the oil and vinegar will make the ricotta 'run', these are not a make ahead sort of starter. Assemble and enjoy immediately!