I believe in the power of things on top of bread to change any mood you’re in. I was born and bread a carb lover (my friend Dimitra will appreciate this pun). So, with that sentiment I’ve never understood not eating bread. I watch women and men everyday steer clear of the obvious god’s gift in front of them. As you can see, bread in any form falls under the “utterly in love with” column I was discussing the other day. Before this post gets away from me and becomes some weird but heartfelt ode to a loaf of bread, I’ll switch gears. I’ll talk about toppings.
I thought I would do a savory crostini and a sweet crostini. By the by, crostini is just some fancy word for small bread that’s lightly coated in olive oil, then toasted. It does happen to make you feel fancier, right? I wanted these to be very easy. Crostini is a great last minute hors d’oeuvre, lunch, snack or hell even dessert. The base of the crostini is whipped goat cheese with lemon zest. If you put soft chevre (french name for GC) in the food processor on high it becomes smooth and easily spreadable. Ideal toast topper. The hint of lemon brings it to life. For the sweet crostini I added some raw honey. I like to try different kinds of honey and this one I found at a farmer’s market was so mild and it didn’t have an overpowering sweetness. It was very pure, so it shined. For my savory crostini, I made a basil-almond pesto. I had leftover slivered almonds. A lot of my ideas are born from leftover things in my cupboards. The pesto is vibrant and I was worried if it would pair well with the chevre. I was pleasantly surprised. Topped with extra lemon zest and devoured in time for seconds and thirds. If you’re not into chevre or it’s too strong for you, I suggest you try these crostini’s with a base of ricotta. It will have the same creamy texture but offer a mellower base to two toppings that would be the star. Easy to be made before a party or if you just want to wow someone. You all know the famous saying, “A crostini a day keeps the doctor away”.
Easy Rustic Crostini: Whipped Chevre with Honey & Basil-Almond Pesto
Pesto adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
- 8 slices french baguette/french bread
- 4 oz chevre
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus extra for topping
- 4 teaspoons raw honey
- 8 teaspoons of pesto (2 per slice)
- Olive oil for brushing
- salt and pepper to taste
Makes about 1 cup (will have leftover)
- 2 cups fresh basil, packed
- 3 tablespoons almonds, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- Place bread slices of baking sheet. Brush slices with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. When golden brown, remove from the oven.
- While bread is in the oven, whip the chevre and make the pesto. For the chevre: Break up the chevre into smaller pieces and put in the food processor. Process on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add the 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. For the pesto: Add the almonds and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and process for about 15 seconds. Add the basil. With the processor running, slowly pour olive oil through top until pureed. Add parmesan cheese and puree for another minute. WHen down add salt and pepper to taste. Use right away or store in fridge with thin film of olive oil on top.
- To assemble the crostini, spread a good amount of the whipped chevre on each toast. Then, add a teaspoon of honey to four crostini and add two teaspoons of pesto to each of the other four.
- Top each slice with extra lemon zest if you would like. Serve and enjoy.