Recipes, Savory

August 7, 2019

Summer Crostini – Three Different Ways

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When the weather is warm and the cold drinks are flowing, there’s no accompaniment quite like perfectly crisp crostini topped with ripe summer fruits and vegetables. This scrumptious appetizer is sure to satisfy guests’ cravings for fresh peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and so much more. Eminently snackable, this crowd-pleaser is not too heavy, and provides a taste of the best produce of the season – and a big platter of them is pretty impressive looking, too. Summer entertaining should be especially simple, because who wants to be stuck inside cooking when your guests are outside enjoying the beautiful weather? Not me, that’s for sure!

Summer is officially here and the living is easy with simple summertime recipes like this one, that take advantage of fresh produce and more laid-back cooking ideas. This appetizer pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, bright salads and cold soups. Enjoy them cold, or at room temperature for a light addition to your warm-weather meal.

The beauty of summer, is it gives you permission to stop trying so hard. Relax. Resign yourself to drinking rosé all day outside. Read for pleasure. And absolutely do not stress about preparing an elaborate dinner.

Fresh Peach Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 large baguette, sliced ¼” thick on the bias
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • thyme honey or regular honey, for drizzling
  • white balsamic or balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Preheat your grill to high heat or preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the goat cheese, lemon juice and thyme.
  3. Place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil on both sides of each slice, season with salt and pepper. Place the bread on the grill and grill both for about 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly toasted. Remove from the grill.
  4. Spread the goat cheese over the bread and top with peaches. Season with salt and pepper. Top with basil and walnuts. Drizzle with honey and balsamic. Serve and enjoy!

Caprese Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced4
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 c. mozarella pearls
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced basil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • FOR BREAD:
  • 1 large baguette, sliced ¼” thick on the bias
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing 
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved

Directions:

  1. Make marinated tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden, 2 to 4 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, basil, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add garlic and oil and toss to combine. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Add in mozzarella pearls.
  3. Meanwhile, toast bread: Brush bread on both sides lightly with oil and place on large baking sheet. Toast bread until golden, 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Let bread cool for 5 minutes, then rub tops of bread with halved garlic cloves.
  4. Spoon tomatoes and mozzarella on top of bread just before serving.

Eggplant Caponata

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1 1/2-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, cubed
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings in juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • 1 large baguette, sliced ¼” thick on the bias

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion, and garlic cloves. sauté until eggplant is soft and brown, about 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes with juice, then red wine vinegar and drained capers. Cover and simmer until eggplant and onion are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in fresh basil. Transfer caponata to serving bowl. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. (Caponata can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
  2. Meanwhile, toast bread: Brush bread on both sides lightly with oil and place on large baking sheet. Toast bread until golden, 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Let bread cool for 5 minutes. Spoon eggplant mixture on top of bread just before serving.

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