Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pesto Crostini

You’re pressed for time! You don’t like being chained to a stove! And you like good food. This simple appetizer takes only minutes: Guests go ga-ga over it!

Pesto Crostini:

To Make the Crostini:

1 c. olive oil 
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 narrow-diameter French baguette 

Combine olive oil and garlic salt. Raise oven rack to highest position and preheat broiler. Slice baguette into approximately 30 thin slices. Dab each side lightly with garlic-infused oil. Broil approximately 1-½ min. per side, until pale golden. If slicing Crostini into 1/2-in. pieces, broil 35 sec. per side.

To Make Crostini with Pesto Mixture:

c. pesto (homemade or purchased)
4 oz. chèvre (soft goat cheese)
6 sun-dried tomatoes, drained, blotted dry, chopped (see Note)

Use thicker slices of Crostini. Once it emerges from broiler, lower oven rack and reduce heat to 400 deg. F. 

Combine pesto mixture in food processor. Process on pulse setting until smooth, with some chunks, about 15 sec. Spoon thin layer of pesto over each Crostini. Top with small chunk of chèvre and a sprinkle of chopped, sun-dried tomatoes. Bake Crostini on parchment-covered cookie sheet about 5 min. or until heated through. Serve at once.

Note: For related posts, see the Index for How to Oven-Dry Tomatoes.

Further Note: I prepare homemade Pesto every summer, when I have access to large quantities of fresh basil. Pesto can be frozen for future use or stored in the fridge for several days. Making good Pesto isn’t difficult, but it’s expensive. Commercially prepared Pesto is also expensive, but I’ve never had Pesto better than mine or Ron’s (see his recipe in my post of August 22, 2012). We make and freeze a lot of it, using it throughout the year. Pesto makes a great addition to soups with a beef-broth base. Toss a little Pesto with cooked penne for a quick and tasty dinner.

Slice a baguette into about 30 pieces
You'll need sun-dried (or oven-dried) tomatoes, pesto ...
And a nice chunk of soft goat cheese
Dab baguette with garlicky olive oil. 

Broil, turn, and repeat with more garlicky oil

Infuse olive oil with finely chopped garlic; let sit 30 min.

Spoon pesto over toasted baguette
Add small chunks of goat cheese
Dab on dried tomatoes

A closer view!

These can be made ahead and baked just before serving

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