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Ionian Bruschetta with Oregano

Each year the Country Inns in the White Mountains feature an Inn to Inn Herb Tour the first weekend in June. Participants tour 10 inns and receive seeds or plants, recipes, herbal lore and cultivating hints, and sample tasty treats of course! This bruschetta showcased oregano on the 2010 tour.
Recipe chef is Inn at Ellis River in Jackson, NH
Recipe courtesy of Inn at Ellis River
Prep Time :
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  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 pound ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 8-10 Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup roasted red or yellow bell peppers (from the grocery’s deli/salad counter)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Greek oregano leaves, minced fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 16 1-inch thick slices of baguette
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Greek oregano
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Oregano sprigs for garnish

Two hours before serving:
Infuse 2 tablespoons of oregano in 1/4 cup olive oil. Let stand at room temperature.

Prepare ricotta spread by whisking together ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, olive oil, and cream until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dice roasted peppers. Combine tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper, shallots, olives, roasted peppers, garlic, capers, parsley, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Let stand at room temperature one to two hours.

At serving time:
Brush baguette slices with infused oregano oil and broil on both sides until toasted. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread ricotta mixture on each slice of baguette and top with tomato mixture. Garnish with sprigs of oregano.