I recently spent 10 days visiting “Ireland’s Ancient East,” a touring region tapping 5,000 years of history in the south and eastern area of the country. Described as a touring region rather than a specific route, it was designed to offer a "relaxing, compact journey of discovery" stretching from the Boyne Valley through the Midlands and down to East Cork. Launched in 2015 as a follow-up to the popular west coast “Wild Atlantic Way,” a journey here has no fixed length, no beginning or end, and visitors can enter at any point and explore sites reflecting four periods in Ireland’s history at their leisure. I highly recommend the region, not only for its history and scenery but, of course, for its food. I found wonderful artisan products all along the way, including Brookfield Farm Wild Honey in Tipperary. Try this recipe for your next Sunday brunch and think beautiful thoughts of Ireland.
HONEYED RICOTTA TOAST WITH CITRUS & THYME
1 pink grapefruit
2 blood oranges
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons wild honey, plus more for serving
8 slices rye sourdough bread
Sea salt, for sprinkling
1. Heat broiler to High. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Peel grapefruit and oranges; slice into segments. Arrange citrus segments in a single layer on prepared pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil; sprinkle with sugar. Broil fruit 4 inches from heat source for about 5 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from broiler; sprinkle with thyme.
3. In a small bowl, combine ricotta and honey.
4. Brush slices of sourdough with olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet; broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn bread over. Spread with ricotta mixture; broil for 2 to 3 minutes until ricotta is lightly browned and bubbling.