Strawberry, Ricotta, and Rye Tartines

· caraway, brown sugar, lemon, toasted almonds, olive oil ·

June 27, 2016 20 Comments

Garden StrawberriesGarden Strawberries

This was our first official garden strawberry season and I had to learn a thing or two about keeping these beauties all to ourselves. They had a rough start. As the berries were juuussst starting to ripen, some anonymous critter would sneak in and a take single bite out of each ripening fruit. Just one bite. I wouldn’t be opposed to sharing the crop with our bird and squirrel friends if they were a just little more considerate and not so darn wasteful. Is it so hard to like….I don’t know….eat the entire berry and leave a few whole ones for us? The NERVE!

I always felt like I would grow only what I could grow naturally, with minimal intervention. Squishing cucumber beetles? Fine. But being at war with mammals and birds? That’s not what I had envisioned for our peaceful back yard garden oasis. I’m honoured that the birds choose our yard as a worthy place to come sing their songs, and the squirrels are first-class entertainment for Benji, who wholeheartedly believes that it’s his job to keep them under control. Don’t worry, he stands NO chance at actually catching one, but his enthusiasm and confidence never waver.

We often leave the back yard door open for Benji to come and go as he pleases. He takes plenty of sunny siestas, does his squirrel duty, of course, and helps us keep the grass under control by grazing on the overgrown pasture (I prefer growing vegetables to mowing whatever is left of the lawn). One day I went out to check on him, and guess what? BUSTED! Our very own dog, the one that gets fed a premium home-made raw diet, the one that sleeps in our bed and gets to lick up our plates after every meal, that very dog was one of the mysterious critters taking chunks out of the strawberries.

Forcing him to stay indoors was not an option so I went to the hardware store and bought one of those unsightly net things. I got the kind that said that it wouldn’t hurt the animals on the package (some nets can cause them to get tangled and stuck), but I wasn’t convinced that the net would do no harm. I hesitantly draped it over the strawberry beds, and then proceeded to check on it an unreasonable amount of times over the next couple of days.

I’m happy to report that there were no critters harmed in the growing of these strawberries and we had a beautiful bounty of the most delicious fruit. I even managed to forgive Benji and allow him to help out with the harvest. Watching a dog eat strawberries off the bush is the most adorable thing when it’s not done behind your back.

Garden Strawberries

What is a girl to do with all these incredible strawberries? Eat most of them straight off the bush, mid-day when they’re extra juicy and warm from the sun, then share a little, and finally make Heidi’s Strawberry Salad from Near and Far.

I had my eye on the recipe for a while and since it’s the type of salad that is only as good as the berries going into it, I knew that waiting for strawberry season to make it was going to be worth it.

The flavour combination was such an interesting and delightful surprise. Fresh strawberries are paired with caraway, lemon zest, brown sugar, sea salt, and olive oil, then topped with toasted almonds. My husband was hesitant and said it was too advanced for his palate (we’re working on that), but I absolutely loved it! The caraway and brown sugar inspired me to try the salad with rye bread and I recently discovered the pleasure of home made ricotta (I should say fresh ricotta-like cheese, to be gastronomically correct), so here we are, with a fun new take on strawberry tartines.
Making RicottaHome-made ricottaGarden strawberriesStrawberry, ricotta, and rye tartines Strawberry, ricotta, and rye tartines

Strawberry, ricotta, and rye tartines

Strawberry, Ricotta, and Rye Tartines

Yield: 8 - 12 tartines

Serving Size: 4-6

Strawberry, Ricotta, and Rye Tartines

Ingredients

    Strawberry Salad (adapted from Near and Far )
  • 1.5 lbs of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 tsp. caraway seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1.5 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. fine-grained sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Tartines
  • 8 large slices (or 12 smaller ones) of lightly toasted rye bread
  • 1 cup of home-made or store-bought ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • fresh thyme, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. Place the strawberry quarters in a medium/large serving bowl.
  2. 2. Bruise the toasted caraway seeds in a mortar and pestle, then add brown sugar and salt and work them in with the caraway.
  3. 3. Stir in the lemon zest and olive oil
  4. 4. Just before serving, gently toss the mixture with the strawberries.
  5. 5. Spoon about 1 - 2 Tbsp. of ricotta onto each toast.
  6. 6. Top the toasts with strawberry salad, reserving any leftover salad to serve on the side.
  7. 7. Sprinkle toasted almonds and thyme (if using) on top of the toasts and remaining salad.
  8. 8. Serve immediately (it does not keep well).
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fromthelandweliveon.com/strawberry-tartines/

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links for products that I mention and recommend. While none of the content on this blog is sponsored, unless explicitly noted, I am working in partnership with The French Barn (the Canadian Lacanche distributer) and you can learn more about that in my kitchen reno post.

20 Comments

  1. Reply

    Sarah | Well and Full

    June 27, 2016

    That is so funny about your dog eating the strawberries! I didn’t know dogs liked them ;) I have a few little strawberry plants this year and it seems like my berries are getting eaten before I can pick them :( We do have a lot of deer and rabbits around our yard so that’s probably it.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      June 28, 2016

      Haha, I didn’t know that either, but apparently mine does :) Once I started doing a little bit of research on strawberry protection, it seems like it’s almost impossible to grow them without some sort of physical barrier. I guess all the animals love them. It must be amazing to see deer on your property! Probably worth the stolen strawberries.

  2. Reply

    Jeff

    July 1, 2016

    Wow ! I love your pictures! Nice blog!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      Thank you so much, Jeff!

  3. Reply

    Nicoletta @sugarlovespices

    July 1, 2016

    I have that same book, Near and Far, and I love it! I had eyed that recipe, too, but made with your own grown strawberries makes much better sense to me! Your pictures are gorgeous, and the tartines look beautiful and delicious! P.S. Your dog has a good palate ;-)

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      Thanks Nicoletta! I’m not sure about my dog’s palate…I suppose he has good taste in fruit but he also, unfortunately, eats poop.

  4. Reply

    MDIVADOMESTICA

    July 1, 2016

    This would be a great starter to any summer meal or enjoyed on it’s own on the patio with a nice glass of wine. Fantastic!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      Thank you! I’m not a big wine drinker, but I agree…a nice glass of rose would be perfect!

  5. Reply

    Ksenia @ At the Immigrant’s Table

    July 1, 2016

    Glad to hear that all of the safeguarding attempts paid off and gave us these absolutely stunning tartines! This would be my favourite way to eat strawberries, though sadly on gluten-free bread.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      Thanks, Ksenia! I don’t think you need bread at all! In the original recipe Heidi suggests having the strawberry salad with greek yogurt or as part of a breakfast/brunch spread. It’s even really good all by itself :)

  6. Reply

    Isabelle @ Crumb

    July 1, 2016

    I’m so jealous of your homegrown strawberries. They’re absolutely stunning, and I bet they taste even better than they look! Our little backyard patch is a little too shady for strawberry plants, so I make do with raspberries instead (they seem to tolerate shade a little better, for whatever reason).
    The combination of flavours in this tartine sounds positively delicious. I adore caraway seeds, and will take any opportunity to incorporate them into new dishes… will have to hunt down a basket of strawberries and a loaf of rye bread at the farmers’ market this weekend so I can try this out for myself!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      Thanks Isabelle! Hope you had the chance to try it this weekend! If you’re willing to experiment with wild (alpine) strawberries, those may be a little bit more tolerant of the shade. I have a few bushes thriving in partial shade, where the other strawberries wouldn’t do so well.

  7. Reply

    Sean

    July 1, 2016

    I feel your pain. I came outside last summer to find one of my lovely cucumbers with a nice big bite out of it. Rat or raccoon, not really sure – either way I was a little offended. Was my cucumber not good enough for you, you rodent gourmand?

    In any case, I’m awfully glad your strawberries came in nicely, because now I get to look at (and wish for) those wonderful tartines. The marriage of flavours there sounds wonderful, and very nicely balanced. Thanks for posting this!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      Haha thanks, Sean! I’m sure you guys get some incredible strawberries at the markets in Vancouver. I visited one a few years ago and was really envious of your abundance of fruit.

  8. Reply

    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)

    July 2, 2016

    Strawberry tartines are my fave in the summer!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      This was my first venture into strawberry tartines and I didn’t realize how good the were in semi-savoury form :)

  9. Reply

    danielle | rooting the sun

    July 3, 2016

    such a delightful toast, sofia! i love all things rye. it’s crazy about the strawberries, but they must be irresistible to all forms of life! i’ll be damned if i harvested one whole strawberry this year. this is such a beautiful way to celebrate them. ps – i adored your pbs segment. happy season xo

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 4, 2016

      Thank you so much, Danielle. Happy summer to you too :) Apparently you’d be very lucky to grow strawberries without protection…most research that I’ve done suggested that you need some sort of net. They are very tempting to all of our animal friends as well.

  10. Reply

    Jacqueline

    July 12, 2016

    Hi Sofia! My husband and I use Agribon to protect our strawberries from pesty birds and deter neighbor’s cats. We make arches or hoops from PVC pipe (or even wood stakes) and cover the plants by draping It over (like making a tent) and using rocks to secure It at the bottom. Because Agribon is a gauze-like fabric It shades but also allows light to reach your plants. We use It over all our greens as well since afternoon sunlight can be a bit harsh on them.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      July 14, 2016

      Thanks, Jacqueline. I’ve been thinking of attaching a mini-green house top to one of our beds and I can probably re-use the structure to experiment with the Agribon during the season. The strawberries seemed to love the heat and sun, so I’m not sure that I’d want to add any shade, but I’m curious to try it for my spring brassicas.

LEAVE A COMMENT