So last week we talked about how to make a balsamic glaze (or syrup, reduction…whatever you feel like calling it) and I gave you “20 awesome ways to use it“. I made a fairly large batch of my own at the time and this is one of the awesome ways in which I used mine :)
I love making crostini and usually always have some around.
Even if I don't top the crostini with anything and just dip it into soup or enjoy a few pieces with a salad, they're still a great way to add some crunch to a meal.
I love dipping them into fresh pesto or marinara and topping with fresh mozzarella. Sometimes I'll even sprinkle on a little shredded parmesan and pop them under the broiler for a couple of minutes. So many wonderful ways to use them!
Balsamic goes so perfectly with goat cheese (or blue, yowza that's delicious!) or any number of other cheeses. Slow-roasting tomatoes brings out their sweetness which makes them the perfect topping – then the drizzle of balsamic syrup brings it all together. This crostini is an easy appetizer to prepare yet is sophisticated enough that you could serve it at a dinner party – but not so high-flyin' that it wouldn't work for a casual barbecue, either. You'll need a bit of time to prepare this one, if only because slow-roasting tomatoes is just that – slow. But you can make all the other components while the tomatoes roast or simply prepare it all the day before (or both). In any case, this crostini recipe is worth the effort to put together – you're going to love it!
More fantastic toppings for crostini:
- 1 baguette, cut across into 1-inch slices
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons (divided)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, large ones cut in half
- 1 5- ounce log goat cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the tomatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 250F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tomatoes in one layer on baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and season with kosher salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and starting to dry but still a bit moist (time depends on the size of your tomatoes but mine usually take about 2 hours or so).
For the crostini:
- Place bread slices on baking sheet. Brush remaining 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil over one side of bread. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 350F until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
For the Whipped Goat Cheese:
- Whip together goat cheese and cream in a small bowl until light and spreadable.
For the Balsamic Syrup:
- Place vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and keep it at a strong simmer until reduced by approximately one-third and mixture coats a spoon.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool (it will thicken as it cools). If it's too thick, add a bit more vinegar, place back over heat and stir until incorporated. If not thick enough, put back on burner until it thickens a bit more.
- Spread some whipped goat cheese on each crostini. Top with 2-3 slow-roasted cherry tomatoes and drizzle some balsamic over the top. (You can also let guests assemble it themselves if you prefer).
Cook time is listed as two hours since you can prepare everything else while the tomatoes are roasting. All of the components can be made the day before, just bring it all to room temperature before assembling.