When I saw this recipe for toast with whipped ricotta and butter fried raisins on Food 52 instantly knew it would be delicious. Nothing could have prepared me for just how delicious though. When you pan-fry raisins in butter they plump up into jam-like orbs and with the herbs, sea salt flakes and a good crack of black pepper they become quite savoury. I’m obsessed!
I’ve been working with Raisins of South Africa for a couple of years now and have explored raisins in so many recipe permutations. I love them in savoury dishes such as sausage rolls, meatballs and bobotie, and love them in baked confections such as scones, fruit cake and muffins.
I can’t understand how anyone could dislike raisins in the first place, but these people do roam amongst us. I’m convinced this recipe could turn the most ardent raisin avoider into a raisin fan.
I loved the Food52 treatment of orange zest and ginger with the raisins, but I wanted a herbaceous note with mine. It really works so well here and tips the scales towards the savoury spectrum. If you wanted to keep it sweet, add honey at the end.
The rosemary, bay leaf and orange peel sizzles in the bubbling butter to release their delicious flavour oils before the raisins are added. It might seem like a lot of butter but trust me on this, you will want to drip as much as possible over your toast. Along with a few of the frizzled rosemary leaves, a sprinkle of Malden salt and another crack of black pepper, you are in for a delicious treat.
Since I discovered whipped ricotta, I would never spread grainy ricotta on toast (or anything) ever again. It takes a minute to whip it through a small food processor which is an essential kitchen item. I have the KitchenAid mini chopper which I would be lost without making pestos and salad dressing. I added orange zest to the ricotta to give it a subtle lift and think lemon would be very nice here too.
How to adapt this buttered raisin toast recipe?
This recipe is easily adaptable and if you love Christmas spices as I do, they would work so well here. Cinnamon, ground allspice and perhaps a touch of clove and nutmeg.
A hit of chilli would make these spicy, and sage or thyme are other options on the herb front.
I debated adding fennel seeds and dry frying ½ tsp in the pan before adding the butter and oil, but after an extensive search, I didn’t have any. I will give this a whirl next time.
Cumin and coriander could also be interesting earthy flavour notes with the raisins.
What raisins should you use in this recipe?
I love the sweetness of sultanas, so used a mix of ¾ of a cup of golden and brown sultanas and ¼ cup of raisins. You could use any ratio you like or use all raisins or all sultanas. Currents would be lovely here too. A Christmas cake mix of dried fruit would make this taste like fruit-cake-toast and would be mind-blowing and something I plan to try this festive season.
Recipe – makes enough raisins for 4 – 6 slices of toast
Buttered fried raisins on whipped ricotta toast
- 4 slices of good bread such as sourdough or ciabatta
- 250 gms ricotta about 1 cup whipped with zest from ¼ of an orange
- 45 gms salted butter
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thick pieces of orange zest peeled off an orange
- 1 cup of sultanas and raisins
- Sea salt such as Maldon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5Whip the ricotta until smooth with the orange zest.
- Make your toast.
- In a small frying pan, melt the butter and olive oil and fry the rosemary, bay leaf and orange peel for about a minute until they are sizzling. Add the raisins and sultanas to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat until they start to caramelize slightly and are plumped up.
- Spread the whipped ricotta generously on the toast and then top with fried raisins, a drizzle of the pan oil and a few loose fried rosemary leaves.
More delicious raisin recipes: