Homemade pesto made with fresh garden basil, S&P, olive oil, optional nuts, garlic, lemon juice and parmesan cheese.
Roasted Vegetable Crostini With Homemade Pesto
Is your garden overflowing with basil??? Well, unfortunately mine didn't grow very well this year at all. But my sister had a bounty and lucky me, she brought it to my house! At first I was going to dry it, but as I plucked the fresh leaves off the stems, I just couldn't do it! So I decided to make pesto! However, I did not have any pine nuts on hand and guess what? You don't really need nuts to make pesto! (Apparently, without nuts it's actually a French "Pistou".) Just a few simple ingredients blended together in the food processor and pesto it is. You can put it on pasta of course, but I decided to make these roasted vegetable crostini with some beautiful veg I picked up at the farmer's market, and pesto seemed the perfect way to top it off! These crostini are so versatile. Choose your favorite bread and grill it or toast it in the oven. Choose a cheese to slather on it - I used melted buffalo mozzarella but goat cheese, ricotta, or Boursin would work perfectly. Then top it with your favorite roasted veggies! I used eggplant, red onion and colored peppers. Mushrooms would also be great, as well as tomatoes or asparagus. Then top it with a dollop of pesto or olive tapenade, and finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or honey. Even store-bought pesto will work in the winter months. Just mix together your favorite flavor combinations and you have a quick and delicious appetizer!
Italian baguette topped with fresh mozzarella, roasted veggies, fresh pesto and balsamic glaze.
Summer on a plate!
- 12 Servings
- Prep time: 30 Minutes|Cook time: 2 Hours|Total time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Roasted Vegetable Crostini
Homemade Basil Pesto
For the Pesto
- In a food processor, place 2 c packed fresh basil leaves, S&P, garlic clove, and nuts (if using). The nuts are not needed if you want to leave them out! Pulse to combine.
- Slowly add in 1/2 c good quality olive oil.
- Transfer to a bowl, then stir in parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Add additional olive oil if you prefer a thinner consistency. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon, S&P if needed.
For the Crostini
- Begin by drawing the water out of the eggplant. Slice into rounds and place on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 30 minutes. Then pat dry and flip slices over, sprinkling with salt and letting sit another 30 mixtures. Pat dry and then slice rounds into strips.
- While eggplant is draining, slice peppers and onion into strips and toss with olive oil, S&P. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Combine eggplant and peppers in a bowl, and if mixture seems dry, add a little drizzle of olive oil.
- When eggplant is ready, roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. (I usually cook peppers and onions first, then transfer to a bowl, then use same pan to cook eggplant.)
- Slice a baguette into 24 slices on the bias. Brush lightly with olive oil on both sides and grill or bake in oven to crisp them up. Set bread aside.
- Top each slice of bread with a thin slice of fresh buffalo mozzarella and place back in oven (or on grill but on a sheet pan) to melt the mozzarella.
- Then top each crostini with the pepper/eggplant mixture, then fresh pesto, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
- Sub another cheese for mozzarella if desired. A schmear of goat cheese or ricotta would work great!