Basil season…it’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m tossing it into corn and zucchini salad, sprinkling it on grilled pizza, and making teeny little bacon tomato and basil sandwiches. But of course the reigning champion of all basil wonderfulness is pesto. And my favorite thing to do with pesto is to drizzle it on things. Especially things like crispy little pieces of toasted French bread that are slathered with mascarpone cheese.
Now, pesto recipes are all around us and I’m sure you have your favorite, but just in case, here’s a link to the one I always use on the simply wonderful Simply Recipes site. It always reminds me that while pine nuts are one of the standard ingredients in pesto, walnuts make a perfectly marvelous pesto as well, and so walnuts are what I use!
Anyway, once you have your pesto made (5 minutes!) and your bread toasted (10 minutes!) you are about 3 minutes away from these gorgeous little nibbles. Spread the warm toasts with a generous slather of mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese, or goat cheese, or whatever nice spreadable you have on hand). I like mascarpone because it has a slightly sweet flavor that gives me that whole sweet and salty thing that I am addicted to. Now spoon on a drizzle of pesto. The more pesto the sassier these little guys will be, so you can go all the way from mild to raise your eyebrows…you decide! I finish mine off with a pinch of freshly grated parmesan and one of those cute teeny little basil leaves that are left on the stalk after you’ve pesto-ed up all their big brothers.
I can tell you from experience that a plateful of these and a glass of wine are all you need for a lovely summertime supper. Perfect pesto…here’s to summer.
- 24 slices french bread, about ¼ inch thick
- Olive oil for toasting bread
- 1 cup pesto
- 1 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Tiny basil leaves for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brush bread slices with olive oil, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 5-10 minutes. Let cool.
- Spread each crostini with cheese and then drizzle with pesto - a little if you like a mild taste and more if you like more snap!
- Garnish with parmesan cheese and basil leaves
Crostini with Peaches and Ricotta from Framed Cooks
Cranberry Orange Brie Crostini from Two Peas and their Pod
Crostini with Clams from Recipe Girl