For a delicious, unusual appetizer, serve up these Strawberry Basil Crostini. Made with either a goat cheese or blue cheese spread, your friends will be dying to get the recipe.
Strawberry Basil Crostini
I was planning to make this strawberry basil crostini appetizer for a dinner party which should have coincided with the peak of our local strawberry season. Well, that didn’t exactly pan out, as some rain delayed the delivery. But I found some fragrant California berries at the market and carried on.
I love pairing berries with mascarpone cheese in desserts, but wondered if I could make a delicious appetizer with this same combination of sweet berries and creamy cheese. And to boost the flavor palate, I decided to add another soft cheese to the mix. But I couldn’t decide between goat or blue, so I made half of each. And, unbeknownst to them, I had some taste testers lined up.
The Verdict: Rave Reviews
One of our lovely neighbors was recently widowed, and she invited me and Bill to dine with her, along with some other family and our parish priest. There was plenty of lively conversation before dinner, and I think I wowed them with this picture perfect, seasonal appetizer.
There was just enough goat or blue cheese was added to the mascarpone for some zip and the sweet juicy berries and balsamic played well with both the creamy cheese and crispy toasts. Plus the basil provides another pop of color and pairs so nicely with strawberries. The fact that these strawberry basil crostini are a breeze to make doesn’t hurt one bit. Let me know if you give these a try. Bill gave them his seal of approval. And my platter was emptied before dinner.
- 16 baguette slices, cut at a slight angle, about 1/3 inch thick
- Olive oil
- 24 strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar, optional
- 4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 4 tablespoons goat cheese, blue cheese or half of each
- 24 strawberries, sliced and hulled
- 8 basil leaves, stack a few, roll tightly and cut into thin slices (chiffonade)
- Aged balsamic vinegar (best quality you can get)
- If strawberries aren't very sweet, place slices in a bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of sugar. Set aside.
- Preheat broiler. Place bread slices on a sheet pan and brush lightly with olive oil. Broil for a minute or so, till browned on one side. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. I only toasted one side, but feel free to repeat on second side if desired.
- Mix mascarpone and your choice of goat or blue cheese till smooth. Spread over toasted side of bread. Layer slices of berries over cheese and sprinkle with basil.
- Right before serving, drizzle toasts with balsamic vinegar.