Pop your sliced bread into the office’s most prized possession: the toaster. If your work does not have a toaster in the communal kitchen, quit immediately.
Set the toaster to high-medium, we’re aiming for toast with the perfect crunch that rains breadcrumb confetti when you take a bite.
Remove toast from toaster. Do not use a metal knife to do this. Or fork. Or spoon for that matter. When I am desperate I use chopsticks. It’s illogical but sensible.
Rub the base of the toast with oil and a little bit of salt. You can rub a clove of garlic here too if you want to be really traditional, but taking cloves of garlic to work is not a good look, so I skip this step.
As I am equal parts lazy and motivated, I usually bring a tub of ricotta to work on a Monday and keep it in the fridge for the week. Ricotta, like toast, is versatile. I get Alba ricotta because I like the cow logo on it. I also have an affinity with the tub because my Nonna has been giving me leftovers in empty Alba containers since I can remember. It’s always a surprise when I open a tub and actually find ricotta inside, as usually I am half expecting to find minestrone.
Dollop 2-3 tablespoons of ricotta on each piece of toast. Now let’s accessorise with some ricotta bruschetta options.
Option one is the Breton stripe of the bruschetta world – tomatoes and basil. Get a handful of cherry and grape tomatoes and slice them, put in a bowl. Rustically tear some basil leaves and pretend you’re an extra in Under the Tuscan Sun. You might be in the office kitchen, but for the next five minutes you are best friends with Diane Lane in her Tuscan villa.
Add salt, cracked pepper, a generous glug of olive oil, a splash of balsamic and my secret ingredient – a splash of pomegranate molasses. Mix together, then assemble your dressed tomatoes atop of the ricotta.
Option two is not very traditional, but YOLO, right? (You Only Lunch Once). In a bowl mix together raw zucchini using a julienne peeler, parsley leaves, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. The acidity of the lemon juice does some magical curing of the raw zucchini. Put the raw zucchini salad (which tastes excellent on its own if you are GF / celiac / general carb hater) atop of the ricotta. This outfit is not complete yet – we then add a few layers of smoked salmon, thinly sliced red onion and capers. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with more olive oil.
Go back to your desk, take a bite. It’s not Tuscany, but it’s close.