i love the combination of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. while not ideal, thankfully hot house tomatoes and packaged basil are available year-round. when summer rolls around and they’re both in season, i’m in bliss.
i saw this recipe online a while ago and decided to finally make it for a barbeque that i attended on the weekend. although it was simple to make, it wasn’t exactly quick. the time spent though was well worth the effort and i can’t wait to make these again. the original recipe called for heirloom tomatoes but the ones i substituted them with were perfectly fine.
makes 20 to 25 crostini; serves 6 to 8
6 oz good feta cheese, crumbled
2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
⅔ cup good olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 Tbsp minced shallots (2 shallots)
2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 Tbsp good red wine vinegar
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (i used on-the-vine), ½”-diced
3 Tbsp julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
20 to 25 (½”-thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted
in a large bowl, blend feta and cream cheese with a hand held mixer (you might want to cover the bowl with a clean tea towel to avoid spray) until cheeses are mixed. add ⅓ cup olive oil, lemon juice, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and mix until smooth. refrigerate until ready to serve.
place pine nuts in a dry sauté pan over low heat and cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. set aside.
for the tomato topping, up to an hour before serving, combine shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. set aside 5 minutes to allow shallots to absorb vinegar. whisk in remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. add tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside 10 minutes. stir in basil and taste for seasoning.
to assemble crostini, spread each baguette slice with a generous amount of whipped feta. with a slotted spoon, place tomatoes on top. plate crostini scatter with the reserved toasted pine nuts. sprinkle with basil and serve.