Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta, Prosciutto, and Arugula

Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta, Prosciutto, and Arugula
Staff Writer
Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta, Prosciutto, and Arugula

Ali Rosen

Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta, Prosciutto, and Arugula

Every Saturday during spring, summer, and fall, Barry and I walk over for lunch at the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene — part antiques market, part junk sale, part craft fair, part artisanal food court. It's also great people-watching; aside from a reliably cute crew of scruffy Brooklynites and international tourists, celebs ranging from Martha Stewart to Michael Stipe are regularly spotted poking through the treasures. But the real action for us is in the well-curated street food: fabulous Salvadorian pupusas (thick corn tortillas stuffed with pork, beans, and cheese), brick-oven pizza, sandwiches of brisket and porchetta, and my favorite, approximated here, from Brooklyn's own Salvatore Ricotta. This is a quick and perfect treat, an ideal use for homemade ricotta.

See all bruschetta recipes.


For the homemade ricotta

Line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth, and secure it with 3 or 4 clothespins. Set the colander inside the bowl. Measure out a 2-foot length of string and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, with a thermometer handy, combine the whole milk and buttermilk and heat, stirring nearly constantly, until the temperature reaches 180 degrees. (When you reach 170-175 degrees, you'll start to see fine, little curds separating from the whey.)

At 180 degrees, turn off the heat, and skim the curds from the whey using a finely slotted spoon, dropping the curds into the cheesecloth-lined colander. (Save the whey for another use, such as breadmaking.)

Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and tie it with the string. Gently squeeze to remove more, but not all, liquid from the cheese, and then hang over the sink or bowl for 20-30 minutes to drain a bit more. (I use the string to tie the bag to the faucet.)

Remove the ricotta from the cheesecloth, spoon into a container, and stir in the salt. Serve as soon as possible, preferably without refrigerating.

For the bruschetta

Heat an outdoor or indoor grill or grill pan on medium-high heat. Spread out the sliced breads on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Grill the bread until golden all over, 2-3 minutes per side. Rub one side of each piece of bread with the garlic. Arrange the bread on a platter.

Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the ricotta on each piece of bread, and then press an arugula leaf into the cheese. Place a slice of prosciutto on top, drizzle with your best olive oil, and serve.


Note: For this recipe, where the flavor of the milk is so important, use the highest quality you can find. Your best bet is a local dairy that is likely to pasteurize its milk more gently than a factory brand, and steer clear entirely of homogenization. For me in New York, that's Ronnybrook, which is available at many farmers' markets and better supermarkets, and hails from just a couple of hours north of the city.


Calories per serving:

298 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 13g 20%
  • Carbs 28g 9%
  • Saturated 7g 33%
  • Fiber 1g 3%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 14g
  • Monounsaturated 4g
  • Polyunsaturated 1g
  • Protein 17g 34%
  • Cholesterol 42mg 14%
  • Sodium 801mg 33%
  • Calcium 351mg 35%
  • Magnesium 42mg 10%
  • Potassium 463mg 13%
  • Iron 2mg 9%
  • Zinc 2mg 12%
  • Phosphorus 316mg 45%
  • Vitamin A 130µg 14%
  • Vitamin C 1mg 2%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 26%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 36%
  • Niacin (B3) 2mg 11%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 9%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 56µg 14%
  • Vitamin B12 1µg 19%
  • Vitamin D 3µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 0mg 2%
  • Vitamin K 5µg 6%
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