Classic Basil Pesto Crostini

pesto crostini served with tomatoes.

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Fresh homemade pesto spread on crispy crostini, topped with some tomatoes, for an easy and tasty appetizer.


  • 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


  1. Start the pesto: Have a food processor at the ready, with sharp blade at the bottom. Add the garlic, and pulse to mince.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 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 pumpkin seeds for 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.
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