My mother recently celebrated a big milestone birthday. Several of us in my generation made appetizers to pass around at the birthday party with the extended family. My mother and the rest of my family has always loved my pesto, so it should have been no surprise that the pesto crostini I made were snatched up very quickly. So I thought this Classic Basil Pesto Crostini would be a natural to share for this #SundaySupper featuring favorite recipes for Mother’s Day.
Pesto is pretty simple to make, so I’ve yet to figure out exactly what makes mine seem to stand out for people. Maybe it’s because I make sure to have plenty of garlic in mine, or the way I meticulously pluck those basil leaves and leave behind any that don’t look great. I also like to use Pecorino Romano cheese, which imparts a nice flavor. Perhaps some people buy that store bought pesto, which can’t compete with pesto made that day.
To make these pesto crostini for a crowd, I get the pesto ready earlier in the day, and get the bread all sliced up in advance, too. Slicing the bread fairly thin allows for a good pesto to bread ratio. Then at the party I quickly toast the bread and spread the pesto, and boom, it’s ready to go. And I mean go fast off the plate!
You can make these crostini without the tomato topping, but my mother loves good fresh tomatoes. When tomatoes are at their peak in August, she loves to have a simple tomato sandwich for lunch. The tomatoes also add a nice touch to the presentation. I got a packet of small multicolored heirloom tomatoes, which looked great on the platter.
Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc is the classic pairing for pesto; I described some of the reasons for that when I served up my pesto recipe with wine pairing. You can go with other crisp white wines, too. I like to serve pesto with a Picpoul de Pinet, for instance. When serving the pesto along with other apps, sparkling wine can also be a nice choice.Print
Classic Basil Pesto Crostini
Fresh homemade pesto spread on crispy crostini, topped with some tomatoes, for an easy and tasty appetizer.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: food processor + oven
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed and tightly packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
- 1 baguette, sliced into ten 1/2 inch thick rounds (you will have extra)
- 3/4 cup tomatoes, diced
- oil spray
- Start the pesto: Have a food processor at the ready, with sharp blade at the bottom. Add the garlic, and pulse to mince.
- Add basil: Put the basil into the food processor, and give it a quick whir to begin chopping the basil and make room for the remaining pesto ingredients.
- Finish the pesto: Add the olive oil, cheese and pine nuts. Puree to get everything well combined. Open the food processor, scrape the sides to get bits of garlic and basil that haven’t been incorporated, then give the processor a final whir.
- Toast the crostini: Preheat an oven to 400. Spread the bread out in a single layer on a baking sheet or large piece of aluminum foil. Coat one side of each slice of bread with oil spray. Put the bread into the oven, and toast for about 5 minutes until it starts to brown and get slightly crispy.
- Finish the crostini: Remove the toasted crostini from the oven, and spread a dollop of the kale pesto to coat one side of each piece of bread. Top each piece of crostini with 2 or 3 pieces of tomato. Place on a serving platter and enjoy!
- I often make make double the amount of pesto given here, and have extra pesto for something else. You can easily double the recipe to a bigger group of people or to have pesto for another use such as our Ligurian Pesto Pasta.
- Pine nuts are typically featured in classic basil pesto. But I have been substituting toasted pine nuts with good results to make a nut free pesto.
- You can also use a toaster oven to brown the bread for the crostini.
Keywords: basil pesto, pesto crostini, appetizers, holiday appetizers
Be sure to check out all these tasty #SundaySupper recipes!
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