While summer is winding down everywhere else in California, it’s just starting to heat up here in San Francisco, where [Indian] summer rolls around in September and October. These are the days for evening strolls, trips to the farmers market, and bottles of cold rosé. These days are reminiscent of lazy days in the Mediterranean.
When traveling through Italy this summer (our beach in Amalfi above), I picked up a new appreciation for crostini, which means ‘little toasts’ in Italian. Crostinis were everywhere – the perfect light snack to enjoy by the water. I was in awe by the sheer volume of these on menus throughout Southern Italy and Florence – and the toppings I would find on them! While this recipe below is simple, the fresh ingredients make all the difference. Although I used mozzarella as the cheese base, this crostini would be divine with fresh burrata.
- 4 tbsp. pesto of your choice
- 1 large baguette – I used par-baked
- 5 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 4 tbsp. EVOO
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 5 oz. Ciliegene mozzarella in water (sold at Trader Joe’s) – or fresh burrata
- Pre-heat broiler for 10 minutes. In the meantime, sauté chopped tomatoes in 2 tbsp. olive oil and minced garlic for 5-8 minutes, turning frequently. When the tomatoes begin to wilt and lose some of their water, gently place them in an oven pan or cookie sheet and broil for 5 minutes. You’ll know when they’re ready when you see charred edges. In the meantime, pre-heat your grill (or grill pan).
- With your hot, baked baguette (if using par-baked, place in oven for just a few minutes, you’ll let it fully cook when you’ve topped with ingredients), slice in half length-wise. Brush the flat side with olive oil.
- Place flat-side down on grill (or grill pan) for just 2 minutes. Remove from grill and spread pesto evenly across each piece. Top with mozzarella, and then the roasted tomatoes.
- Next, your crostini will go back in the grill, or into your broiler if you’re cooking indoors. Grill or broil for 5-8 minutes, until mozzarella is melted but not bubbly.
- Remove from heat, let cool for one minute, add some cracked black pepper and cut into small pieces. Serve with pasta, salad, or enjoy alone with a glass of rosé.