Broad bean and ricotta bruschetta

This broad bean and ricotta bruschetta is great for entertaining – I included it as part of the NADIA magazine first birthday spread in the October/November issue!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer and Starters
Servings 8


  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups broad beans shells on (fresh or frozen)
  • 150-200 g ricotta
  • ½-¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • cup mint leaves roughly chopped
  • cup basil leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 sourdough baguette cut into 1.5cm slices (or use a ciabatta or sourdough loaf, cut into 1.5cm slices and then halved)

To serve

  • basil leaves a handful
  • good quality olive oil for drizzling


  • Place the chopped garlic into a small ramekin with the olive oil. Let the garlic infuse the olive oil while you prepare the topping.
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil and add beans. Bring to a simmer, then cook for about 4 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a bowl of icy cold water. When beans are cooked, drain and refresh in the bowl of cold water. Shell the beans (don’t be precious here; they will be mashed in the next step anyway) and discard shells. Dry beans with a paper towel.
  • Place beans in a bowl and crush with a fork. Stir through ricotta, salt, zest and herbs and mash to desired consistency. Season with freshly ground pepper.
  • Heat a grill plate on high heat (or use a grill pan). Brush bread on both sides with garlic-infused oil and grill for about 1 minute on each side until grill lines appear (you may need to press down on bread with a metal spatula to begin with). You can do this on the BBQ if need be.
  • To serve, dollop a spoonful of broad bean mixture on each piece of grilled bread. Top each with a basil leaf and drizzle with a little quality olive oil.


I’m a big fan of bruschetta for entertaining – it’s easy and you can prepare all the elements in advance. Leave the topping off the bread until the last minute though to avoid it going soggy. Serve this broad bean and ricotta bruschetta before wine-braised chicken, grapes, capers, lemon and parsley and creamy garlic and rosemary mash for the perfect dinner party menu. I served chocolate and orange mousse with drunken prunes for dessert too – yum!
For more ideas, check out my smoky tomato bruschetta, classic tomato basil bruschetta and brunch bruschetta.