Black Cherry Basil Ricotta Toast, a tasty toast recipe with vanilla ricotta spread and topped with cherries marinated in a basil-flavored natural syrup. Tasty summer toast!

Toast with vanilla ricotta cheese with cherries and basil on top of a white marble table.

Love cherry season? Love fresh basil? Mix them together for a basil-marinated cherries recipe that is perfect on top of a tasty toast spread with vanilla ricotta. This seasonal summer toast recipe is a simple to make, uses very little kitchen equipment, and only requires six ingredients.

👉 Ready to learn how to make a cherry-topped toast? Let's do it!


🍒 Ingredients

  • Cherries: Dark cherries like bing or black cherries are our favorite, but any cherry variety will do
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves are for extra flavor and for sprinkling as a garnish
  • Sugar: Granulated white or brown sugar work to help marinate the cherries (syrups don’t work well here)
  • Ricotta cheese: Regular or plant-based ricotta cheese serve as the spread on this toast
  • Vanilla: Adds flavor to the ricotta; either vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (more pricey)
  • Bread: Any whole grain bread that is hearty and toasts with a nice crisp works well for this toast
  • Recommended tools: mason jars, toaster, kitchen knives
Toast with vanilla ricotta cheese with cherries and basil on top of a white marble table.

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Make the basil marinated cherries

The first step is to make the basil marinated cherries! To do this, simply cut about 1 pound of cherries in half, remove the seeds, and place into a medium bowl.

When the cherries are cut, add sugar and sliced basil leaves to the bowl and toss to coat the cherries evenly with sugar. Then place the cherries in the refrigerator and let sit for a minimum of 2 hours to “marinate.”

However, for best taste leave the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The sugar will help the cherries release their sweet liquids and you’ll be left with tasty cherries in a basil-flavored natural syrup.


2️⃣ Step Two: Mix vanilla ricotta spread

Next it’s time to make the vanilla-flavored ricotta. To do this, simply add ricotta cheese (vegan ricotta works well!) and either vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.

Then using a whisk or spoon, mix the vanilla into the ricotta until well combined. Then set aside to make toast.


3️⃣ Step Three: Make the cherry ricotta toast

Now it’s finally time to make the toast! Do this by first toasting your favorite bread and topping with the vanilla ricotta spread.

Then spoon on the basil marinated cherries and drizzle the cherry syrup on top of the toast.

Sprinkle with more sliced basil (optional), and enjoy!

👉 Want to make it extra tasty? Reduce the cherry syrup for a thicker consistency by placing the cherry juice into a small saucepan over low heat for 5-7 minutes. When juice thickens, drizzle over toast and enjoy!


💡 Ideas for serving

There are so many possibilities for serving this tasty toast!

  • Seasonal breakfast: Make it a cherry-filled seasonal breakfast for summer mornings!
  • A sweet lunch: Serve for lunch with a light arugula salad
  • Easy summer snack: Make a piece of toast for a quick cherry fix snack
Toast with vanilla ricotta cheese with cherries and basil on top of a white marble table.

🧊 How to store

We recommend storing the toast components separately so the toast doesn’t get soggy. Here’s how to store each ingredient:

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store marinated cherries in a bowl or glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. Store vanilla ricotta spread in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Bread can be stored in the refrigerator or on the counter at room temperature until ready to toast.
  2. Freezer storage: Cherries can be stored in freezer-friendly containers for up to 2 months (maybe more). Bread slices can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months and then popped into the toaster when ready to serve. We do not recommend freezing the ricotta spread because it will lose its consistency when thawed.

♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips

We believe sustainable living starts in the kitchen! Here’s how to make the most of your ingredients of this recipe:

Take advantage of cherry season. The best time to make cherry topped toast is during cherry season! That’s in June and July in most parts of the US, but check out when cherries are in season in your area using Seasonal Food Guide’s chart.

Choose plant-based ricotta. Want to reduce the carbon impact of your dairy ingredients? Go plant-based! Choose a vegan ricotta cheese (you won’t taste the difference!).


👉 More summer cherry recipes

Want more cherry recipes? We've got you covered:

Black Cherry Basil Ricotta Toast

Basil Marinated Cherry Toast, a tasty toast recipe with vanilla ricotta spread and topped with cherries marinated in a basil-flavored natural syrup. Tasty summer toast!
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Ingredients

Basil Marinated Cherries

  • 1 pound cherries
  • ½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, white or brown

Vanilla Ricotta Toast

  • ½ cup ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 slices whole grain bread

Instructions 

For Basil Marinated Cherries

  • Cut cherries and mix with sugar and basil: Cut cherries in half, remove seed, and place in large jar or medium bowl. Add sugar and basil to bowl of cherries and toss to coat.
  • Marinate cherries: Cover and let the cherries marinate in the sugar and basil in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, but for best taste allow cherries to marinate overnight as cherries will release their juices.

For Vanilla Ricotta Toast

  • Mix ricotta and vanilla: In food processor or small bowl, stir or whip together vanilla and ricotta cheese.
  • Build toast: Toast bread, if desired, and smear ricotta on toast. Top with marinated cherries and sprinkle of basil.
  • Optional cherry sauce reduction: Reduce cherry sauce to a syrup consistency by placing juice in a small saucepan over low heat for 5-7 minutes. When juice thickens, drizzle over toast and enjoy!

Notes

  • Leftovers and storage: The basil-marinated black cherries can be saved in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The vanilla ricotta can be refrigerated and stored for up to 4 days, and my recommendation is to toast bread right before serving for best taste.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free toast to make this recipe gluten free.
  • Make it vegan: Use vegan ricotta cheese to make this recipe vegan.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving (1 slice), Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 31mg, Potassium: 295mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 368IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 84mg, Iron: 1mg

UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in June 2018 and was updated for clarity in July 2022.