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These little crostini bites are colorful, beautiful and super easy to prepare. Festive red tomatoes top vibrant green pesto, making the dish bright and appealing. As always, the quality of the ingredients is the key to this simple recipe. When tomatoes aren’t in season, I substitute grape or cherry tomatoes for the romas, as the smaller ones tend to have more concentrated flavor. And, choosing the right bread for the crostini is also super important. I usually look for a nice Ciabatta bread in the bakery section at Whole Foods and ask them to machine slice it for me.

If you are short on time, skip assembling the individual crostini and serve this dish as a dip, with the toasted bread on the side (see “Variation” below). It’s still has that pop of color that makes everyone want to try it!

Goat Cheese, Pesto and Tomato Crostini

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6 to 8

(From "Fresh Tastes from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®" by Lee Clayton Roper)
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf Ciabatta or other Italian bread, sliced about ½-inch thick
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup prepared basil pesto (see Tip below)
  • 6 to 8 large Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ?Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut bread slices into 1- to 2-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted and light golden brown.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese and cream cheese, stirring just until smooth (don’t over-mix or it will become runny).
  4. Spread mixture on toast pieces. Top with pesto. Sprinkle tomatoes evenly over the pesto. Sprinkle top with pine nuts. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and serve immediately.
Notes
Variation: Serve as a dip. Spread goat cheese in bottom of shallow baking dish. Spread pesto evenly over the top. Scatter tomatoes over top of pesto. Scatter pine nuts over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with crackers.

Tip:
Our favorite pesto recipe is Spinach Basil Pesto. You can use your own favorite recipe, or store bought works okay, too. Just make sure to purchase the fresh, refrigerated pesto, not the jarred stuff.

 

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