Simple Summer Appetizer: Cherry Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta!

/ Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello, hello! Happy Monday morning. I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend and a very happy 4th of July. It was refreshing to have a little time off, right?

Boyfriend and I spent a few days out on Long Island visiting my family. My godmother, whom you may remember as the woman responsible for these outrageous brownies, hosts a mammoth July 4th party each year. My favorite thing on the menu: Cherry Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta (above). Good lord, they were tasty! And so super simple. 

As I mentioned to BuzzFeed Food, we're a diehard Ina Garten family—perhaps it's the Long Island connection (we used to go to the Barefoot Contessa Store in East Hampton all of the time)! This crostini recipe is from Ina's Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook. If you can't find pine nuts or if they're too expensive, just omit them, that's what we did! Also, you can prep the crostini, tomato mixture and whipped feta ahead of time and store separately until you're ready to serve. Here's how you do it...

6 ounces crumbled feta
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
20 to 25 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)

1. Make the whipped feta: Put the feta and cream cheese in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until combined. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.
2. Make the tomatoes: An hour before serving, combine the shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl; set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasonings.
3. To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on plates and scatter with the pine nuts, if using. Sprinkle with more basil.

Oh! And, if you're interested, here are a few fun photos from our holiday weekend at the beach. What did you do for the 4th? Go anywhere exciting? Cook anything delicious? I'd love to know! xo Erin

Lobster with Curry Butter about to go on the grill. Greek oregano in my parents' garden.

Long Island Sound at sunset.
Fourth of July bonfire. Grilled asparagus with shallot vinaigrette.

Peach pie ready to bake. Lambrusco in the backyard (below)!

[Crostini recipe from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook 2012 Crown Publishing Group]

1 comment

  1. FAB-U-LICIOUS weekend. Thank you for making is yummy and fantastical!!!


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