Tomatoes and Pesto with Goat Cheese Crostini is an elegant, crowd-pleasing appetizer that I’ve been making for years. It’s just the kind of recipe I love, that I’ve been perfecting since I was in my teens – easy and impressive. Plus, It’s super flexible, too. Serve the crostini already assembled, or as a dip with the toasted bread on the side.
Festive Goat Cheese Pesto Crostini You’ll Love
Festive red tomatoes and toasted pine nuts top vibrant green pesto, making these Goat Cheese, Pesto and Tomato Crostini bright and appealing. And, they’re layered with rich, varying complementary flavors and textures – tangy, earthy, bright, sweet and herb-y. Plus, it’s so easy to prepare it’s foolproof. And, it’s flexible; serve it as a dip with toasted bread on the side. Or, set up a Crostini bar and let people assemble their own!
Pesto with Goat Cheese Crostini Ingredients
As always, the quality of the ingredients is the key to this simple recipe. Here are some tips:
- Crostini – use Italian bread (after crostini are from Italy!). I recommend Ciabatta bread. It’s subtle sour flavor pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
- Goat cheese – use good quality goat cheese. And, don’t use crumbles. The stuff they add to keep it from clumping alter it’s ability to blend well.
- Cream cheese – Philadelphia bread is consistency good!
- Pesto – I include a link to our Spinach Basil Pesto, if you want to make your own. You can use your own favorite recipe, or store bought works okay, too. Just make sure to purchase fresh, refrigerated pesto, not the jarred stuff.
- Tomatoes – Use fresh for this dish, preferably Roma (plum) tomatoes. When tomatoes aren’t in season, use grape or cherry tomatoes as these smaller varietals tend to have more concentrated flavor.
- Pine nuts – make sure to toast the nuts! It brings out their flavor and makes them look prettier.
How to Make Pesto Goat Cheese Crostini
Here’s how to create these easy and impressive two-bite appetizers:
- Prep oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Toast bread.
Slice bread into 1/2-inch slices, then cut slices into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet (rimmed is easiest to use). Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted and light golden brown.
- Mix cheeses.
In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese and cream cheese, stirring just until smooth (don’t over-mix or it will become runny).
- Assemble crostini.
Spread cheese mixture evenly on one side of toast pieces.
Spread pesto over goat cheese.
Sprinkle chopped tomatoes evenly over pesto. Sprinkle top with pine nuts. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Serving Pesto Crostini with Tomatoes
If you are short on time, skip assembling the individual crostini and serve the Goat Cheese, Pesto and Tomatoes as a dip, with toasted bread pieces on the side (see “Variation” below). It’s still has that pop of color that makes everyone want to try it!
Storing Pesto Crostini
The unassembled crostini – baked bread slices – can be stored in a tiptop baggie for up to 5 days. In non-humid climates I would store at room temperature. In humidity, I would put in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before assembling. To keep them from getting soggy, assemble shortly before serving.
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Crostini with Goat Cheese FAQs
Unassembled crostini can be eaten list any other toasted bread – even at breakfast! With the toppings in this recipe on it, I serve it as an appetizer or as part of an antipasti course.
Both crostini and bruschetta are toasted bread slices. Crostini are smaller and often made with more dense bread. Bruschetta are traditionally rubbed with garlic, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and grilled.
Crostini can be served either hot or cold. I prefer to serve this recipe at room temperature.
I prefer using goat cheese in this recipe. It’s creamy, making it easy to spread on the crostini, and it’s tangy flavor adds another dimension to the dish. In addition, a side benefit is that goat cheese is easier to digest than cow’s cheese because it has smaller fat molecules and less lactose!
Other Two-Bite Appetizer Recipes You Might Like
- Prosciutto, Fig and Goat Cheese Tarts
- Baked Olive Cheese Balls
- Curried Chicken Bites
- Prosciutto Appetizers with Mozzarella and Basil
- Mini Cheddar Dill Scones with Smoked Salmon
- Green Chile Canapés
- White Bean Bruschetta
- Benedictine Cheese Canapés
- 1 loaf Ciabatta or other Italian bread, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
- 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto (see Tip below)
- 6 to 8 large Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese and cream cheese, stirring just until smooth (don’t over-mix or it will become runny).
- 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.
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 on pesto: 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.
- Category: appetizers, easy entertaining