Are you familiar with the term "fancy toast"? Essentially, fancy toast is artisan bread that is toasted and then topped with a variety of tasty ingredients. Sounds a bit like smørrebrød doesn't it? I thought so too! If it's alright with you, I think we should extend our definition of smørrebrød to include open sandwiches that might otherwise fall into the fancy toast category. This is not much of a stretch, really. There are MANY different types of smørrebrød, and not all of them are served on the traditional rugbrød. I feel no need to limit ourselves to one type of bread as the base for our open sandwiches. And who doesn't love toast!?
Which brings me to this DELICIOUS Roasted Broccoli Smørrebrød with Whipped Ricotta. This open sandwich is really something special....tender, caramelized roasted broccoli tossed with sun-dried tomatoes and briny olives, and it all sits on a bed of creamy, dreamy whipped ricotta.
Whipped Ricotta Cheese
We've all had ricotta cheese in a lasagna or other stuffed pasta, but have you ever had whipped ricotta? Somehow, whirling whole milk ricotta around in the food processor with a little olive oil takes this otherwise slightly grainy cheese to a new level of silky, billowy softness. I'm talking creme fraiche-like in texture.
While you could use part-skim rather than whole milk ricotta cheese here, it won't have the same rich flavor or creamy texture. My advice? Stick with the real thing.
Whipped ricotta makes a fabulous creamy base for a vegetarian smørrebrød. And trust me, this roasted broccoli and whipped ricotta combination is only the beginning. I'm thinking garden tomatoes in the summer, roasted cubes of butternut squash in the fall...imagine the delicious possibilities!
If you've never roasted broccoli before, you are in for a treat. In only 20 minutes, the high heat of the oven produces crisp tender broccoli that is caramelized and incredibly flavorful. Toss in some tangy, briny flavor in the form of sun-dried tomatoes and olives and you've got an easy and delicious topping for your smørrebrød.
I really hope you give this Roasted Broccoli Smørrebrød with Whipped Ricotta a try! It is one of my new favorites and I think it will be one of yours, too.
Roasted Broccoli Smørrebrød with Whipped Ricotta
For the Smørrebrød:
- 4 large slices rustic bread such as sourdough, cut in half
- 1 garlic clove peeeled
- Whipped ricotta recipe follows
- Roasted Broccoli with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe follows
For the Roasted Broccoli with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes:
- 12 ounces broccoli florets cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons chopped good-quality olives pitted (kalamata or a mix)
- 3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
For the Whipped Ricotta:
- 1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Coarse salt to taste
- Roast the broccoli: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about 18-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Toss warm broccoli with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and oregano. Season with additional salt to taste.
- Meanwhile, whip the ricotta: Transfer ricotta cheese, olive oil and lemon juice to a food processor and whip until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season to taste with coarse salt.
- Make the smørrebrød: Toast the bread and rub each piece with the peeled garlic clove. Generously spread with whipped ricotta and top with roasted broccoli mixture. Serve.