Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta

This is a fancy yet approachable appetizer that is bursting with flavor. I know it isn’t summer yet, and tomatoes can be hard to come by, but you can usually find decent cherry tomatoes at the grocery store. I made this as an appetizer for a dinner party in Arizona. It was followed by Vodka Pasta & Steak. I am always on the prowl for a good appetizer, especially one that you can fix before guests arrive. Enjoy!

A Side Note: I have many new recipes to post but I keep getting behind. I think it’s because I have a three year old and a two year old and one on the way….YES you read correctly. Baby Heath number three is en route. It will be a domestic adoption. We can’t wait. Actually, we can. We need to save a bunch of moola and also figure out how my girls will share one bedroom. A little time may be good before the next one arrives.

Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta

Ingredients:

6 ounces good feta, crumbled
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup good olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, 1/2-inch-diced
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
20 to 25 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (place nuts into a dry roasting pan for about 4-5 minutes. When you begin to smell them and they turned slightly darker, they are done.)

Directions:

For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.

For the tomatoes, up to an hour before you’re 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.

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. Sprinkle with extra basil and serve.

From the Foolproof cookbook of Ina Garten. Here is the recipe link.

Tomatoes mixed with fresh herbs, shallots, and oil. Yum!

Tomatoes mixed with fresh herbs, shallots, and oil. Yum!

 

Rustic cutting board makes an easy serving tray.

A rustic cutting board makes an easy serving tray. Making the whipped feta in advance helps keep work to a minimum when guests arrive.