It’s summertime and the living (and eating) is good, amen?
Most of us have super easy access to tons of basil during these hot months, and what better way to utilize all of that bounty than with a big batch of fresh pesto? We love to entertain, but with two young children it can be hard to just jump in the car and run to the store to pick up food for friends coming over. Besides, I’d rather harvest right off of our back patio for dinner any day of the week!
This crostini recipe is super simple, using a lot of things we already have on hand, and can be mixed up in so many different ways. It’s rustic and beautiful and takes minutes to throw together. I love adding stone fruit during the summer, fresh apple in the fall, orange segments in the winter, and fresh berries in the spring. What you’re really looking for with the fruit is a touch of sweetness and color in an otherwise very savory appetizer!
CROSTINI WITH FRESH BASIL PESTO, CREAM CHEESE AND STONE FRUIT
- 1 baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (mascarpone would work great as well)
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted pecans (almonds, pistachios and pine nuts work well here too)
- 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- seasonal stone fruit, sliced as desired (thin slices work best; peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries are all great to use)
- Preheat the broiler on the oven.
- Lay the baguette slices in an even layer on a large sheet pan.
- Toast the baguette slices to desired color on both sides, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Combine the basil, garlic, pecans, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped.
- With the food processor on, slowly stream in 2/3 of the olive oil until a thick paste is formed.
- Stop and scrape down the sides; use this chance to evaluate the thickness of the pesto.
- Place the lid back on the processor and add a little more olive oil if desired, processing until combined.
- To assemble the crostini, spread each piece of bread with a little bit of cream cheese (about 1-2 teaspoons each).
- Add about 1 teaspoon of the pesto on top of the cream cheese.
- Top with stone fruit.
- Serve and enjoy!