This is a recipe that screams summer in Italy. We're talking happy hour (aka aperitivo) time when you're sipping on Prosecco or Spritzs and noshing on olives, potato chips, pistachios, and little crostini. This recipe is inspired by one of our favorite places of all-time to do aperitivo – we're talking the rooftop of the Principe Hotel.
It's an oh-so-chic hotel sitting just off the beach in one of our favorite locals-only beach town in Tuscany, Forte dei Marmi. It's a place where you can watch the sun set over the Mediterranean and then turn around and see the very hills that Michelangelo hiked to carve the marble for his sculptures. It's the kind of place deserving of a classy, elegany outfits and equally sophisticated food. But, it's still a beach town all the same, which is why this Zucchini and Ricotta Salata Bruschetta fits right in.
cut on the bias into 18 ¼ slices
, plus more for drizzling
, about 12 ounces
halved, pitted, and roughly chopped
Heat oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Meanwhile, using a mandolin with the large toothed blade, slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/3-inch' slices. If not using a mandoline, slice by hand and then stack the slices and cut into 1/3-inch sticks lengthwise. Once all the zucchini has been sliced, cut them lengthwise into 1-inch pieces.
Meanwhile, place zucchini in a colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and set aside to drain for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, brush the bread on both sides with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crusty and brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn once halfway through to toast evenly. Remove and cool.
Peel and pit avocado then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice and zest. Roughly chop mint leaves and add to avocados.
Line a large plate with three paper towels and spread out salted zucchini. Lay another two paper towels on top and pat off excess moisture. Add to the avocado bowl along with the almonds and olives and mix through. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.
Top each crostini with a heaping spoonful of the zucchini mixture. Drizzle over olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. Using a peeler, thinly shave Ricotta salata and top each bruschetta with a few slices and serve.
Food styling by Lillian Kang // Photography by Aida Mollenkamp