Whipped Feta and Tomato Crostini
It’s the week of Thanksgiving. We are all beginning, if not already in full swing, maybe partial panic mode on all we have to do to get everything as perfect as possible for Thursday. Let’s slow down for just one second while you’re reading this post and really think. Don’t give me the cookie cutter answer, but tell me what you’re really thankful for. Is it the same as last year? Did life change drastically since then or stay the same? In all the push and shove that is happening right now and the bigger push and shove that’s about to happen on nasty BLACK FRIDAY, can you stop for just a second and be truly thankful? Tell me what it is in the comments. I’d love to hear. I read every single comment that has ever and will ever be posted to this blog and so far I have responded to each and every one of you. I am thankful for you guys. I know that does sound like a cookie cutter answer coming from a blogger and one you think I might HAVE to say but it’s very true. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have you guys to talk to about it.
I’m also very thankful of course for all those cookie cutter answers of my own. Just because I keep calling them cookie cutter doesn’t take away from their value. It’s just that we throw them out there so many times without really, really thinking about them. I am very thankful for healthy and happy children. I am so thankful for my sweet husband and the happy marriage we have but that’s all the time…not just on Thanksgiving. This year when I do what I asked you to do and really stop myself and think, one thing in particular pops into my head. I’m thankful to still have my mom. You see, not that long ago she was in a very traumatic and very brutal accident that in most cases would have taken a persons life. She’s fine now. She has actually been told by her doctors that she is about 6 months ahead of where she should be in her recovery and most people looking at her wouldn’t even know anything happened. I’m not telling you this to get sad or morbid and I really hope she doesn’t mind me talking about this. I am saying all this to remind those of you who still have your mom, dad, husband, kids, whomever it may be with you or whatever it is that is that thing that pops into your head, to be truly thankful and don’t let the opportunity pass to celebrate that this week. I don’t see my mom nearly as much as I should, sorry Mom. I’ll do better.
So, enough of all that mush. Let’s get on with the Whipped Feta and Tomato Crostini that I’m also really thankful for just on a smaller scale.
The feta is creamy, especially when whipped and cream cheese is added.
The tomatoes are juicy and acidic but still sweet the way tomatoes are. It has toasted pine nuts to give it a nice bite that’s not actually a crunch but close. Fresh basil that’s so aromatic and full of flavor and all this is piled on top of crusty on the outside and soft on the inside French bread. Remember my sweet basil plant? I used it on this and also in the AH-mazing pasta I called Fettuccine Carbonara Alfredo.
What more could you ask for? Thank you Ina Garten, Barfoot Contessa. This recipe is from her new Foolproof Cookbook. I followed the recipe exactly. There was nothing in it I wanted to change which is very unusual!
I keep saying this and I suppose I’ll keep on saying it but this recipe was really easy. I’ve been thinking about it. Am I saying it because I’ve been cooking since I was a kid or is it really easy? I posted this question not long ago and it’s really been on my mind since. I think the reason I think everything is easy is because those are the recipes I’m drawn to. I like different dishes that aren’t difficult and that’s normally what I make. So when you see me say it’s a simple recipe then most likely it’s fairly simple. This one definitely is included.
- 6 ounces good feta, crumbled
- 2 ounces cream cheese, 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 red wine vinegar
- 2 lbs ripe heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, 1/2 inch diced
- 3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil, plus extra for serving
- 20-25 (1/2 inch thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- In a food processor place the feta and cream cheese and pulse until cheeses mixed well.
- Add 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and blend until smooth.
- Up to an hour before serving, combine shallots, garlic and vinegar in a medium bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Add tomatoes and toss to coat.
- Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Stir in basil and taste for seasoning.
- Spread each slice of bread with a generous slather of whipped feta.
- Whit a slotted spoon, place tomatoes on top.
- Plate crostini on platter and scatter pine nuts and extra basil.
If not using a kitchen scale, I divide an 8 ounce bar of cream cheese in half and then in fourths and this gives you approximately 2 ounces.
Sea salt and table salt can have a very different saltiness. I used sea salt.
To julienne basil, lay leaves flat on top of one another, roll lengthwise into a small tube shape and slice from the end. This gives you the ribbons seen in the photo.
To toast pine nuts place them in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat and turn occasionally until browned.
This is great for a Thanksgiving appetizer or even a light snack after everyone has left. This is my last post of the week so don’t look for me on Friday.
Please enjoy your friends, family or yourself no matter what your plans are. I’ll be thinking about ya!