Agrodolce is a delicious Italian sweet & sour sauce that everyone should try! Spread it on toast with ricotta for a stunning appetizer.
How do you feel about the “fancy toast” trend: restaurants loading thick toast slices with incredible toppings and charging $10? While the fad has drawn some criticism, we’re here for it. To us, fancy toast is a no-stress method for making simple vegetarian meals and easy dinner recipes at home. Of course, it can’t be Wonder Bread and peanut butter. This thick slice of artisan bread is topped with agrodolce, a Italian sweet and sour sauce everyone should try. It’s a recipe from the cookbook Seasons, which chef Joshua McFadden has graciously allowed us to share. Paired with creamy, rich whipped feta — well, it’s out of this world.
How to make agrodolce
What is agrodolce? It’s a traditional sweet and sour sauce in Italian cuisine. It is an incredibly flavorful sauce that’s out-of-this-world irresistible! This version uses scallions to make a deliciously savory spin on the sauce. The sweet comes from golden raisins: here they’re sautéed with scallions and toasted pine nuts. The sour is red wine vinegar, used in a pan reduction. The play of the sweet and savory elements against the creamy whipped ricotta spread in this fancy toast is brilliant.
How to serve agrodolce? Agrodolce makes an amazing combination with whipped ricotta on toast: and you could use this concept in all sorts of ways. Make these toasts and top fresh tomatoes and basil, or even plums or cherries with fresh tarragon. These toasts are easily customizable and can be served for vegetarian meals of all kinds:
- Serve it on small crostini as an appetizer
- Nosh on it as an elegant brunch option
- Serve it as a vegetarian lunch
- Combine it with a green salad and it’s a light meatless dinner for two
- Try it as a midnight snack
About the book: Six Seasons
This agrodolce recipe comes to us from the new cookbook Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden. Joshua is chef behind the acclaimed Ava Gene’s restaurant in Portland. He’s also a cookbook author who’s passionate about connecting everyday people to the joy of seasonal eating. How does he get six seasons out of the traditional four?
Joshua’s split the summer season into early, mid and late summer. It’s genius, since produce that appears early in the summer is entirely different from what appears in later months. Before we started eating seasonally, we thought June meant juicy red tomatoes!—only to learn that in Indiana, they’re not ready until July and August.
Six Seasons is an incredible anthology, an ode to seasonal eating. It’s got an allure and glamour from chef Joshua’s touch, but it’s easy to find easy dinner recipes and vegetarian meals that will work for your table. As vegetable-obsessed cookbook authors ourselves, it’s right up our alley.
Listen: Alex and I interviewed Joshua on our A Couple Cooks podcast!
Serve with whipped ricotta on toast!
This agrodolce toast features a whipped ricotta spread, which we knew would make for a fantastic toast. In the past, we’ve made a ricotta spread for fancy toast by simply mixing salt and pepper with ricotta, but we’d never had it whipped.
How to make whipped ricotta? Put the ricotta, salt, and black pepper in a food processor. Turn it on and while it’s running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Pause and scrape down the sides if needed. The mixture should get lovely and creamy. Taste it and adjust with more salt, pepper, or even a bit more olive oil. After you’ve made this whipped ricotta, you can store it refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Love ricotta? Try these Genius Ricotta Cheese Recipes.
Get the book
Listen to Joshua McFadden on the A Couple Cooks podcast.
More easy dinner recipes
In our catalog of easy dinner recipes, nothing is easier than fancy toast! Here are a few of our best easy dinner recipes, selected with an eye for speed:
- Eggs with Chive Blossoms
- Mushroom and Brie Quesadillas
- Orecchiette Pasta with Tomatoes
- BBQ Bean Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
- Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls
- Greek Sofrito Quinoa Bowl
This agrodolce recipe is…
Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free toasts. For vegan, dairy-free, and plant-based, substitute cashew cream for the whipped ricotta.Print
Whipped ricotta is rich and creamy, perfect for slathering on crostini or using as a dip. Here it’s paired with agrodolce, an Italian sweet & sour sauce.
For the whipped ricotta toasts
- 1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 4 1/2-inch-thick slices country bread or Homemade Bread, or 24 baguette slices for crostini
For the scallion agrodolce
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch scallions, ends trimmed, white parts finely sliced, dark green tops cut across into 2-inch ribbons
- ¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes
- 2 tablespoons raisins, plumped in warm water for 15 minutes, drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- To make the whipped ricotta: Put the ricotta, salt, and 20 twists of pepper in a food processor and start to process. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Pause and scrape down the sides if needed. The mixture should get lovely and creamy. Taste it and adjust with more salt, pepper, or even a bit more olive oil-you should be able to taste the oil as well as the ricotta. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- For the agrodolce scallion topping: Toast the pinenuts by baking in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet for 5 to 6 minutes at 350F.
- Pour a healthy glug of olive oil into a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced white portions of the scallions and chile flakes, and cook until the onions are soft and fragrant, but not browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add the dark green tops, raisins, and pine nuts, season with salt and black pepper, and cook until all is soft and fragrant, another minute or so. Add the vinegar and toss everything around to deglaze the pan. Cook for about a minute to heat everything through and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, vinegar, and chile levels.
- Grill or toast the bread, spread a nice thick layer of whipped ricotta on each piece, and top with the ramps and their juices. Serve warm.
Reprinted with permission from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Whipped Ricotta, Ricotta Recipes, Agrodolce, Scallions, Scallion Recipes, Whipped Ricotta Toast, Fancy Toast, Crostini