Easy to make, crostini are an excellent way to showcase fresh seasonal ingredients. This simple combination of ripe tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese makes a perfect beginning to an alfresco meal.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.com
- Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing, plus 1/4 cup
- 1 baguette, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- Salt and coarsely ground pepper, to taste
- 8 vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds total
- 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the baguette slices on the sheet in a single layer. Brush the tops with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- 2 Bake until crisp and golden, 15 to 18 minutes.
- 3 If not using immediately, let the crostini cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.
- 4 Core, seed and dice the tomatoes. In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, half of the basil, the onion, garlic, vinegar, the 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper.
- 5 Slice the mozzarella into 1/4-inch-thick pieces or into smaller pieces so they fit on the crostini.
- 6 To assemble, lay a piece of mozzarella on each crostini and spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the tomato salad on top. Garnish each with a pinch of the remaining basil. Serve immediately.